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Coalition to restore Independent Youth Allowance for local students.

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THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Childcare & Shadow Minister for the Status of Women

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Coalition to restore Independent Youth Allowance for local students

Students in Murray who need to move away from home to study will welcome the announcement that the Independent Youth Allowance criteria would be returned to what it was under the Howard Coalition Government.

A re-elected Coalition Government will ensure that from the beginning of the academic year 2011, young people will be able to qualify for Independent Youth Allowance where:

their family home is in a location categorised under the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (AGSC) as Inner Regional Australia, Outer Regional Australia, Remote Australia or Very Remote Australia; and

their parents’ combined income is less than $150 000 per annum.

Dr Sharman Stone, Federal Member for Murray, said the Coalition will not forget the students that Labor has forgotten under its disastrous new Independent Youth Allowance policies.

“When Prime Minister Julia Gillard, was in charge of education policy she refused to understand the needs of country students.

“Although the Prime Minister did make changes to her original plan to include outer regional and remote Australia, it was clear she ignored the pleas of many of our local families who are classified under inner regional Australia, a region that extended to Deniliquin.

“Many students within the electorate have no option but to drive more than 2 hours to get to their closest university. Their parents cannot afford the $20,000 extra cost for their son or daughter to live away from home to study. Unfortunately for many, they had little option but not to take up a university place.”

Sharman Stone said under the Coalition’s strategies, students who elect to take a gap year and work between high school and starting tertiary studies will again be able to qualify for the Independent Youth Allowance.

“The Coalition will ensure that all regional students get a fair go from the education system,” Sharman Stone said.

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