Energy vouchers up and free payphones

Article published 25 August 2021

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THERE have been recent changes to certain concessions and payphone charges that may affect you.

The cap on the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) scheme increased to $800 a year. The EAPA scheme provides vouchers to pay for energy bills for people experiencing short term financial hardship.

The temporary increase means eligible households can receive up to $400 for electricity per assessment twice a year, this amount is usually $300.

Gas vouchers have increased to $800 per assessment or $1,600 for the year. This is an increase from the previous $1,200 annual cap.

In a landmark move, Telstra has announced that all Australians can now make local and national calls for free on its network of more than 15,000 payphones. You can also use Telstra payphones to send texts, with national SMS services now also free.

Still, last year 11 million calls were made from Telstra payphones with 230,000 of those calls being made to critical services such as 000 and Lifeline.

Gone are the days of reverse-charging a call or carrying around loose change in case you need to make an urgent call.

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