Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 22 August 1984
Page: 180

(Question No. 745)

Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, upon notice, on 27 March 1984.

What plans does the Government have to provide funds to help students from isolated parts of the Northern Territory to find suitable accommodation in Alice Springs and Darwin during the terms of their studies, in view of the extreme difficulties these students from the outback have in finding accommodation in the Northern Territory as there are only four student hostels.

Senator Ryan —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

The Commonwealth Government is providing funds for both student allowances and capital works to assist students from isolated parts of the Northern Territory to find suitable accommodation in either hostels or private dwellings, while studying in Alice Springs or Darwin.

Under the tertiary education assistance scheme, students who must live away from home to undertake tertiary study are provided with a higher rate of allowance to assist with the additional costs involved. In 1985 the maximum annual rate of allowance for students living at home is $2,110 and for students away from home is $3,255. Parents of isolated children living away from home to attend school may receive benefits under the assistance for isolated children scheme. Maximum allowances range from $2,067 a year for primary students to $2, 572 a year for those in the senior secondary years, and include an income-test- free basic allowance of $927 a year.

Residential accommodation for students at the Darwin Community College is currently being constructed with Commonwealth funds and is expected to be completed this year. It is understood that the Northern Territory Government is proposing additions to this accommodation in 1985. Residential accommodation facilities are also under construction using Commonwealth funds for students at the Katherine Rural College.

The Commonwealth Government has provided capital assistance to non-government schools for boarding facilities since 1976.

In November 1982 the Commonwealth Schools Commission produced a report entitled 'Study of Living Away from Home Facilities for Isolated Children' which examined the needs of students from remote areas for hostel accommodation.

Subsequently a decision was taken that from 1984, hostels serving students who attend government schools would be eligible for assistance under the Commonwealth Schools commission's capital grants program for government schools. However, it is the responsibility of State and Northern Territory governments to determine their own funding priorities. Thus, whether the Commonwealth funds available are actually used for hostel accommodation or directed to other building projects in government schools is an individual State or Territory decision.

Provision of further assistance to hostels for isolated students will be among matters considered for possible inclusion in the Commonwealth Government's program of assistance to schools in 1985.