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Tell your story to the Youth Allowance Senate Inquiry.

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Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Nationals Federal Member for Mallee John Forrest has invited regional families to make submissions to the Senate Inquiry examining the impact of the Rudd Labor Government’s changes to the Independent Youth Allowance criteria.

“Labor’s changes will make it much more difficult for students to qualify for Independent Youth Allowance, with at least 30,000 young people likely to lose eligibility under the new rules,” Mr Forrest said.

“This decision has caused an enormous amount of apprehension as regional students reassess how they can manage if they attend university, especially where there are several students in one family wanting to undertake tertiary

studies away from home. Currently, students can receive Independent Youth Allowance if they work at least 15 hours a week for two years, or they earn at least $19,532 in an 18 month period.”

Mr Forrest said under the changes, students will have to work 30 hours a week for 18 months, forcing them to defer their studies for two full years or work full time while studying.

“This comes at a time when many students will be unable to get work. The Senate Inquiry will receive submissions until August 7, and I urge all to tell their story about how this Rudd Government decision will impact on their lives.”

Hearings will be held between August and September (locations still to be confirmed) and the Senate Committee is due to report on October 29. Students and their parents can make a submission by writing to: The Committee Secretary, Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, PO Box 6100, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600.

The Inquiry’s terms of reference are that the Committee investigates and assesses the impact of the government youth allowance measures in relation to:

• The financial impact on rural and regional students who are attending metropolitan secondary schools, universities or TAFE.

John Forrest MP The Nationals Member for Mallee

Phone (03) 5021 5987 Fax (03) 5023 3274

• The education alternatives for rural and regional students wanting to study in regional areas. • The implications of existing and proposed Government measures on prospective students living in rural and regional areas. • The short and long term impact of current and proposed Government

policies on regional university and TAFE college enrolments. • The adequacy of Government measures to provide for students who are required to leave home for secondary or post-secondary study. • The education needs of rural and regional students. • The impact of Government measures and proposals on rural and

regional communities.

For further information visit: Inquiry into Rural and Regional Access to Secondary and Tertiary Education Opportunities.

Mr Forrest can be contacted on 0428 500 186.