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Tuesday, 2 December 1986
Page: 3198


Senator MACKLIN(9.31) —I thank the Minister for that information. I was wondering when an outcome for that last category might be available. It is getting into December and decisions on tertiary study are often made much earlier than this. Can the Minister give an explanation, because I have not yet seen a full explanation, of why people on unemployment benefits specifically are being excluded? It seems to be very odd that in many cases persons might be excluded if unemployed but could very well be included if they become employed. I would have thought that the Government would be seeking in every way possible-I remember some recent announcements to this effect-to make sure that young people who are already disadvantaged by the economic circumstances are assisted. I am thinking in particular of people on unemployment benefits who are undertaking part time studies. A person on unemployment benefits has to be available for employment but could very well undertake part time studies. Yet that person might find this an extremely onerous burden, considering the low level of unemployment benefits, in terms of the costs a student who is undertaking even part time studies would be forced to bear.