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Wednesday, 24 August 1994
Page: 291

(Question No. 1486)

Senator Brownhill asked the Minister representing the Minister for Schools, Vocational Education and Training, upon notice, on 23 June 1994:

  Please provide, on an electorate basis, Australia wide:

  (a) the numbers of recipients of assistance under the Assistance for Isolated Children (AIC) Scheme available for the past two years, divided by: (i) the type of assistance, that is, assistance at home and away, and (ii) the rate of assistance, that is, primary or secondary assistance;

  (b) the actual total amount of assistance payments received by eligible students available for the past two years, by category of type of assistance paid; and

  (c) details of other forms of assistance available to students eligible for AIC funding.

Senator Schacht —The Minister for Schools, Vocational Education and Training has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (a) & (b) Due to the length of the response it will not be published in Hansard. However, a copy has been provided to the honourable Senator and further copies are available from the Senate Table Office. Definitions of the types of assistance available under the Scheme have also been included. It should be noted that the figures provided are calculated by applying an Australian Bureau of Statistics formula which allocates data on the basis of the proportion of each postcode which lies within a particular electorate. As a result the data provided for each electorate may not reflect actual numbers in each electorate. All figures were derived from the Education Student Assistance System (ESAS).

  (c) AIC funding cannot be paid at the same time as benefits from other Commonwealth student assistance schemes, including AUSTUDY, ABSTUDY and the Veterans' Children Education Scheme (VCES). Eligible students can, however, receive education assistance from other sources, such as State or Territory Governments, without affecting their entitlement. Parents receiving AIC allowance for a student may also continue to receive certain Department of Social Security payments for the same student. These include Family Payments, Child Disability Allowance and Double Orphan Pension.


Assistance for isolated children (AIC) scheme

Types of Assistance

  Boarding Allowance—For students who board away from home at a school, hostel or privately, a minimum annual allowance of $2500 per student is payable free of income and assets tests. Additional assistance depends on a parental income test as well as the student's boarding costs. Maximum payments (including the basic $2500) for 1994 are:

  Primary, & under 13 ungraded, student—$3108 ($119.20 per fortnight)

  Secondary & tertiary students under 16—$3449 ($132.30 per fortnight)

  Correspondence Allowance—This is available free of income and assets tests for students who study at home by distance education methods. An amount of $1042 a year ($40 per fortnight) is paid for secondary students and $521 a year ($20 per fortnight) for primary students.

  Second Home Allowance—An annual allowance of $2500 per student may be payable free of income and assets tests where a family maintains a second home to enable their children to attend school daily, up to $7500 per family.

  Pensioner Education Supplement—Payment of $30 a week additional to the student's pension is available for students who receive a Disability Support or Sole Parent Pension from the Department of Social Security (DSS), are under the age of 21 and are studying below secondary level.