Community assistance

The ACT Government invests in a concessions program to ensure the most vulnerable members of our community receive the support they need. Concessions play an important role in supporting around 30,000 Canberra households. The ACT Government offers concessions for products and services including utilities, general rates, motor vehicle fees and licenses, public transport, taxis, spectacles and funerals. The Government is committed to offering fair, sustainable and accessible concessions that are targeted to those who need a helping hand the most.

Further information can be found below and on the ACT Government’s Assistance website.

Utilities Concession

The Utilities Concession is available to community members who hold eligible concession cards. It aims to address increases in the cost of living by providing a rebate towards the ongoing costs of electricity and gas services. The ACT Government has partnered with three key energy companies – ActewAGL, Origin Energy, and Energy Australia – to ensure the scheme is efficiently administered and widely available.

The Utilities Concession is also available to eligible residence of ACT caravan parks and retirement villages with embedded electricity networks. The Concession will be paid directly to eligible residents rather than as a reduction applied to utility bills.

The annual rebate for 2018-19 is $654 per household. This will increase by $46 from 1 July 2019 to $700.

Water and Sewerage Rebate

The Water and Sewerage Rebate is available to community members with an eligible concession card to reduce their water and sewerage charges and assist with the cost of living expenses.

Life Support Rebate

The Life Support Rebate attempts to alleviate the financial stress of individuals with a life-threatening condition. The ACT Government engages with key energy and water providers in the Territory to ensure the scheme applies to a wide variety of life-supporting equipment.

Home Haemodialysis Rebate

The Home Haemodialysis Rebate is intended to provide financial support to eligible home dialysis patients with a rebate of water costs. Given that a dialysis machine is classified as life-supporting equipment, a home dialysis patient who receives the Home Haemodialysis Rebate is also eligible for the Life Support Rebate.

General Rates Rebate

The Rates Rebate is available to community members with an eligible concession card to reduce the cost of rates on their principal place of residence and assist with the cost of living expenses. Eligible concession card holders may also apply for the deferment of rates or hardship assistance.

Driver’s Licence Concession

The Driver’s Licence Concession removes issue and renewal fees from a range of driver’s licences for the purpose of providing financial assistance to individuals holding eligible concession cards. Online verification of concession entitlement is also available to facilitate the process of receiving the concession.

Motor Vehicle Registration Concession

The Motor Vehicle Registration Concession improves the affordability of running a motor vehicle for individuals holding eligible concession cards, primary producers, and owners of environmentally friendly gas or electric vehicles.

ACT residents are able to enjoy different discount rates according to their eligibility. Online verification of concession entitlement is also available to facilitate the process of receiving the concession.

Public Transport Concessions

The Public Transport Concession offers reduced fares and free travel to community members with eligible concession cards. The scheme aims to increase the accessibility of public transport for eligible members, and subsequently improve their social inclusion and economic participation.

Taxi Subsidy Scheme

The ACT Taxi Subsidy Scheme provides financial assistance to ACT residents with a disability or significant mobility restriction preventing them from using public and community transport. The scheme supports social inclusion and economic participation of community members who would otherwise be at risk of social isolation. The scheme is intended to assist members attend essential activities such as medical appointments, employment commitments, and social and family gatherings.

Spectacles Subsidy Scheme

The Spectacles Subsidy Scheme provides financial support to eligible ACT residents with the purchase of spectacles. The scheme enables eligible residents to enjoy the benefits of clear vision and good eye health. The Government has taken the initiative to team up with optometry services throughout the Territory, providing a range of eye-wear options and, more importantly, facilitating easy access for all eligible residents.

Seniors Spectacles Scheme

The Seniors Spectacles Scheme was abolished from 1 July 2018.

Low Vision Aids Scheme

The Low Vision Aids Scheme is intended to support eligible ACT residents who suffer from a range of degenerative eye conditions that affect their daily living activities. The scheme assists them to maintain their independence and quality of life. This scheme is available in conjunction with the Spectacles Subsidy Scheme and Seniors Subsidy Scheme.


The ACT Funeral Assistance Program is provided for ACT residents in financial hardship who are unable to meet the full costs of a funeral for immediate family members. The ACT Government has partnered with key funeral providers operating in the Territory to ensure the program is efficiently administered and widely available.