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Monday, 30 March 1987
Page: 1511

Senator Ryan —On 26 February 1987 (Hansard, page 703) Senator Vanstone asked me about the number of Austudy applications that have been accelerated where students are in extreme circumstances. The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

In cases of genuine hardship my Department has given assurances that every effort will be made to issue prompt payments. Manual processing procedures will be used where appropriate to achieve this.

According to the records held by my Department the number of applications paid by an advance manual payment up to c.o.b. 11 March 1987 is 3655.

A number of applications have also been accelerated and paid through the system. Statistics are not kept on these by all States so an approximate figure was obtained where necessary. The number of applications accelerated but paid through the system is approaching 2000.

I should add that all eligible students who apply before the set closing date will in any case have their entitlements backdated to 1 January.