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RURAL YOUTH NEED TERTIARY FUNDING ASSISTANCE

Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund Taskforce Long Overdue

Labor has left it to the very last minute to pull together the taskforce which will decide which rural and regional students – including local students – will get financial help to go to university following changes to Youth Allowance eligibility criteria.

Local Federal Member Paul Neville said the Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund taskforce now had a little over nine weeks to get organised thanks to Labor’s careless attitude.

“Labor’s belated announcement on Wednesday about the makeup of its Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund taskforce means its members now have less than three months to get organised so they can advise the Government on eligibility criteria and how the fund should actually function.

“The Fund will come into operation on January 1, but the legislation which allowed for the creation of the taskforce was actually passed by the Parliament in March.

“The government has been dragging its feet, and it has taken until now to get any movement at all from the Minister, leaving thousands of potentially eligible students in limbo.

“It’s also a strange coincidence that Labor has announced the taskforce membership this week, just before the Minister and Department have to answer questions about it in Senate Estimates Committee on Education.”

Mr Neville also pointed out that the $20 million allocated to the Fund was not new money, and may not be sufficient to give proper support to rural and regional students.

“Given Queensland is generally entitled to about a seventh of national funds, it is possible only $3.5 million would be shared amongst students from our state over the life of the Fund’s existence, which is due to wrap up on June 30, 2013.

“What’s more, we still have no idea of the criteria that these students will need to fulfil to be able to access this assistance.

“Plain and simple, regional students deserve better.”

December 4th, 2010
Topic: EDUCATION TRAINING, GOVERNMENT, JOB WORK OPPORTUNITIES, Money & Investments Tags: , , , , ,

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