Young Territorians will have better access to educational opportunities as a result of Coalition Government initiatives directly aimed at benefiting students in regional and remote Australia.
The latest reforms represent a key element of the Government’s regional education package to support students outside the major cities.
From January 2018, regional and remote students won’t have to wait as long to be considered independent for the key student payments of Youth Allowance (student) or ABSTUDY Living Allowance.
Regional and remote students will only need to earn the minimum amount required to satisfy the workforce independence provisions within 14 months, instead of 18 months.
This means Territory students who finished Year 12 last year can take advantage of the 14-month period before commencing tertiary studies in 2018 to earn $24,042 (current rate) and be considered independent for the purposes of the Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY Living Allowance.
“Being considered independent is important as it can mean a higher rate of payment because, unlike dependent recipients of Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY Living Allowance, their rate is not reduced based on their parents’ income,” Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said.
“This helps young people in the Territory to take up opportunities to further their education after finishing high school and helps ease the financial burden on regional families.”
About 3700 regional and remote students across Australia are expected to benefit from this change.
Other changes included in the Coalition’s regional education package commenced at the start of 2017 and are already helping school students – a 50 per cent increase to both the Assistance for Isolated Children Additional Boarding Allowance and the means-tested component of ABSTUDY Group 2 School Fees Allowance.
“These changes are helping lower-income families in the NT to overcome the geographic isolation which can be a barrier to providing educational opportunities for their children,” Senator Scullion said.
For more information on the changes, visit: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/students