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Tuesday, 10 October 1972
Page: 1393

Senator CAVANAGH (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

(1)   Why is $800 per annum more paid to an Asian or African undergraduate student under the Colombo Plan and the Special Commonwealth African assistance plan as a living allowance than is paid to an Australian Aboriginal undergraduate student.

(2)   Why is $1,355 per annum more paid to an Asian or African postgraduate student under the Colombo Plan and the Special Commonwealth African Assistance plan as a living allowance than is paidto an Australian Aboriginal postgraduate student.

(3)   Why is an establishment allowance of $124 upon arrival in Australia and $85 per annum paid to an Asian or African student and only $75 at commencement to a single Aboriginal student who finds it necessary to live away from home for study purposes.

Senator WRIGHT- The Minister for Education and Science has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   The scales of allowances payable to Colombo Plan and African sponsored students from overseas are not comparable to those payable to Australian Aboriginal students. Whilst the overseas student receives a higher basic allowance (the difference will be $610 per annum at 1973 rates), students holding Commonwealth Aboriginal Study Grants qualify for additional benefits not received by overseas students. These benefits include dependants' allowances of $8 per week for a dependent wife and $4.50 per week for each dependent child; a separate book and equipment allowance of $100 per annum; and supplementary allowances in the case of hardship. Additional amounts ranging up to $24 per week have been paid under the last mentioned provision.

(2)   The statement is not correct. No Aboriginal student has applied for assistance to undertake a postgraduate course and the rate of benefits has not therefore been determined.

(3)   The establishment allowance paid to overseas sponsored students is $85 on arrival in Australia.For students with Aboriginal Study Grants, the basic establishment allowance of $75 is increased by $25 for a dependent wife and $20 for each dependent child. The allowance of $124 mentionedin the Question is a clothing allowance paid to Colombo Plan and similar students who arrivein Australia during the winter months. Any special requirements of Aboriginal students in relation to clothing are considered under the provisions to pay supplementary allowances mentioned in (1).

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