Candidates urged to focus on Tasmanians’ health, connection and minimising costs.

For immediate release

26 February 2024

Candidates urged to focus on Tasmanians’ health, connection and minimising costs.

COTA (Council on the Ageing) Tasmania and Clubs Tasmania have asked State election parties and candidates to consider policies that assist Tasmanians to manage their health conditions, enhance community connection, remain active and minimise participation costs.

COTA says one such program is Ticket To Play, a Tasmanian Government initiative designed to reduce, through a voucher system, the cost of sport and active recreation membership and/or registration for eligible children aged five to 18 years.

COTA wants to see the program extended to those over 18 years statewide.

Acting CEO Brigid Wilkinson said to remain active and access regular exercise classes during cost-of-living stresses, may not be financially possible for many Tasmanians.

“Older Tasmanians regularly tell us that the social connection they receive through exercise classes or sporting groups is just as important to them as the physical health benefits.

The Ticket to Play program can be seen as a preventative health measure, as well as supporting Tasmanians to remain active at a time where cost of living is high and access to regular exercise classes may not be financially possible.

“It would be a natural progression to extend the program to eligible adults, including older people, who would benefit greatly from the financial support,” Brigid Wilkinson said.

Supporting more Tasmanians to receive Ticket to Play grants will also go a long way in assist the local clubs’ sector that increasingly reports difficulties in attracting new members and volunteers.

Club Tasmania Program Manager Tom Darke said clubs were always looking for ways to attract membership and encourage participation.

“The Ticket to Play program if extended would be an ideal way to do this,” Mr Darke said.

“If there were real savings in participation for people of all ages and particularly older people to enable them to participate in activities at a local level through their local club, it can only have a positive mental and physical benefit for members,” Mr Darke said.

Ms Wilkinson said the infrastructure was already in place to extend the program.

“The decision should be based on equity.  In other words, we should be providing the same opportunities for cost-of-living relief and healthy activity, no matter the age of the recipient.

“COTA would also like to see a similar approach for the travel grants for Tasmanian representatives attending interstate competitions.  At present, this is offered only for junior competitors under 18 years.

“We would like to see this extended to adults for Masters competitions to recognise and value their contributions and achievements.

An extension of the Ticket to Play program was recommended in COTA Tasmania’s Budget submission to the Tasmanian Government at the end of last year to be considered in the State Budget delivered mid-year.


For more information


Brigid Wilkinson, COTA Tasmania              Mob 0437 031 173

Tom Darke, Clubs Tasmania                        Mob 0427 390 106