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Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Page: 9206

Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (13:51): When it comes to inequity, this government and its leader know no bounds. They will say anything, do anything and even be anything to retain power. The Treasurer opened his budget remarks on 10 May saying it was a Labor budget. Indeed it was. Communities right across Australia are struggling under the burden of having a Labor government which taxes more and spends money it does not have. All the while regional students continue to be hurt, classed somehow as second-best or not at all by Labor's unfair independent youth allowance rules.

Fixing youth allowance immediately was high on the agenda at the recent Isolated Children's Parents' Association annual federal conference in Darwin. Here is what the Rankins Springs branch of that association had to say:

Families are still struggling with the financial costs of supporting their children while they study, and/or work to gain "independence". Many courses are not able to be deferred and require students to commence study straight away. The eligibility requirements to gain independent Youth Allowance place significant obstacles in the way of students and their families.

If Labor cares anything about education and this nation's future why does it continue to disadvantage country students?