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More Tasmanian students supported to go to university



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MEDIA RELEASE

Senator Carol Brown Labor Senator for Tasmania Deputy Government Whip in the Senate

5 June 2011

MORE TASMANIAN STUDENTS SUPPORTED TO GO TO UNIVERSITY

The Gillard Government’s landmark reforms to the student income support system have resulted in more rural and regional students receiving income support to attend university, Senator Carol Brown, Labor Senator for Tasmania said.

Latest analysis by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations reveals that the 12 months since Labor’s reforms, the number of inner regional students receiving a Youth Allowance payment has risen by 4,250, an increase of 22 per cent.

During the same period, the number of outer regional and remote students receiving Youth Allowance has also risen by 2,150, an increase of 27 per cent.

Senator Carol Brown said that the data shows that 11, 778 more Tasmanian students are now receiving a student income support payment.

A further breakdown of the data shows that in the last 12 months, 3,505 Tasmanian student have benefited from changes to the Parental Income Test, a further 5, 974 have received Start-up Scholarships and 1,248 were paid Relocation Scholarships.

“The latest data confirms the Gillard Government’s reforms are delivering more support than ever before to help regional students go to university.

“The Government remains committed to removing regional eligibility distinctions for Youth Allowance from 1 January next year and to continuing to support students to participate in higher education.

“The latest data rebuts the Coalition’s claims that regional students have been neglected - regional students are actually better off as a result of the Gillard Government’s reforms,” Senator Carol Brown said.

Senator Carol Brown said the Government has better targeted assistance to those most in need, and increased the number of people who are eligible to receive payments.

“For months now the Coalition has run a scare campaign claiming the Government’s reforms have reduced support for regional students.

“It’s now time to accept the facts and acknowledge that Labor is supporting more regional students than were ever assisted by the Coalition Government.

“Labor has reversed declining regional university enrolments, made a record investment in regional universities, and is providing more financial support to rural and regional students than ever before,” Senator Carol Brown said.

The Government has also brought forward a full legislative review of student income support, headed by Professor Kwong Lee Dow. The review is due to be handed down on 1 July, 2011.

Media Contact: Rikki Mawad 0439 148 542

    Rikki Mawad  Adviser  Office of Carol Brown Labor Senator for Tasmania Deputy Government Whip in the Senate