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Youth allowance advertising campaign too late for June 15 deadline.

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Media Release


Senator Natasha Stott Despoja

Australian Democrats

Youth Affairs Spokesperson


Youth Allowance advertising campaign too

late for June 15 deadline


4 June 1998



The Federal Government’s new Youth Allowance advertising campaign will not reach all young people in time for them to register to receive the Allowance, said the Australian Democrats’ Spokesperson for Youth Affairs, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.


“Senator Jocelyn Newman and the Federal Government are spending $3 million on a campaign which will commence on June 7, a mere 8 days before the June 15 cut-off date for young people to register for the Allowance,” said Senator Stott Despoja.


“This campaign will run for four weeks, yet young people have been told that they cannot register after June 15, so it will be showing them what they cannot have, and will enable the Government to maintain its facade of providing information and support to young people.


“Even more worryingly, Centrelink appears to have no strategy for dealing with the thousands of Newstart recipients who are likely to miss the deadline and have their payments stopped.


“Centrelink staff have told young people that if they miss the deadline, they will have to reapply for the Allowance, attend interviews and wait for their application to be processed. These young people face significant delays, with no income support in the interim.


“The Australian Democrats urge the Government to extend the deadline for young people to return their registration forms to at least the end of the four-week campaign, and to make every effort to tell young people to return their forms by the deadline.


“At present, the only information young people have is a confusing recorded message, and a small-print warning on the registration form. We know, we’ve tried.


“The Government must make a real effort to properly inform young people, beyond a glossy, expensive and largely redundant advertising campaign.


Senator Stott Despoja also lashed out at reports that somehow the Democrats are responsible for the One Nation phenomenon.


“We have provided an effective check on executive power for many years, our policies are responsible and fair, not alarmist, extreme or simplistic,” said Senator Stott Despoja.


“In Queensland today, the real alternative is the Australian Democrats,” concluded Senator Stott Despoja.


For comment contact Senator Stott Despoja on (08) 8232 7595 or 0418 812 589