Photo finish stalls holiday
JENNY Goulding was feeling pretty lucky when she found out that she was going to enjoy a free holiday in Airlie Beach after her children won a trip for four as part of a Coca-Cola competition.
Elation turned to frustration this week when she found out that she needed photo identification to fly to Cairns from Brisbane in six weeks time, and that she couldn't easily get any in NSW.
Jenny, 53, of Drake, near Casino, has spent the past week in Tweed Heads with family, and much of that time was spent visiting the RTA and Centrelink and being given the cold shoulder.
Her options were to go to Newcastle or Sydney to obtain a Birth Card or pay $153 for an Australian Passport, but the cost and the travel have made these options prohibitive.
She had thought she might be able to get a Proof Of Age card from the RTA, but it is only available for those aged 18 to 25.
"The woman suggested I could apply for my Ls and use that ID," she said yesterday.
But after deciding not to drive because she could "barely ride a bike and couldn't ride a horse", she is not keen to launch her motoring career.
She is hoping that when she knows which airline she is flying with that they will be flexible and allow her to use some other forms of identification.
"I don't want to carry all my proper identification like my birth certificate with me on holidays, because I don't want to lose them and then have to try and replace it," she said.
There are almost 900,000 people in NSW unable to get photo ID, which makes it difficult to get on a plane, send an international parcel or even get a video store membership.
But after approaches from the Council of Social Service of NSW and the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association, the NSW government passed new legislation earlier this year which will authorise the RTA to hand out NSW Photo Cards for those who are eligible.
The cards, which are voluntary, will eventually replace the Proof Of Age card and will contain extra security and design features.
Cards are expected to cost $40.