Country students to benefit from Youth Allowance changes
Regional students across Australia will now be able to access independent Youth Allowance in the same way as students from outer regional, remote and very remote areas. The Gillard Government has announced it will introduce legislation to the Parliament that eliminates regional eligibility distinctions for students from inner regional areas, giving students in inner regional areas greater access to independent Youth Allowance.
I'm pleased the Gillard Government has listened and understood the concerns of students in inner regional areas. Under Labor, an extra 25,000 students have accessed Youth Allowance in just over a year. This change means that from January 1 next year, eligible students across all regional areas will have the same access to independent Youth Allowance. We have removed the distinctions between regional students so, regardless of whether they live in an inner regional, outer regional, remote or very remote area, all regional students will be subject to the same rules.
The Government has also increased the value of the Relocation Scholarship for eligible students to recognise the higher costs that students from regional areas often experience when they relocate for study. From 1 January next year, eligible regional students will receive a Relocation Scholarship of $4000 for the first year of study, $2000 for each of the second and third years and $1000 for subsequent years.
The Government’s response to Youth Allowance partially adopts the recommendations of Kwong Lee Dow AM’s independent Review of Student Income Support Reforms, tabled in Parliament, as well as the additional support for students through the boost to Relocation Scholarships.
For more information on independent Youth Allowance, visit http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/payments/youth_allow.htm