An estimated 3,700 young people living in regional, rural and remote Australia will have
better access to educational opportunities as the Coalition Government starts
rolling out its $93.4 million regional education election commitment in the New
Under the regional education package, from 1January 2018 and subject to the passage of legislation, the period regional and remote area students have to earn the amount required to satisfy the workforce independence provisions for Youth Allowance (student) and ABSTUDY Living Allowance will be reduced from 18 months to 14 months.
Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie, who heads the Senate Education and Employment
Legislation Committee and chaired the 2015 Interdepartmental Committee on
Access to Higher Education for Regional and Remote Students, has welcomed the
“Our regional education package means students finishing Year 12 this year may be
able to take advantage of the 14 month period to earn $24,042 and be considered
independent for Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY Living Allowance,” she said.
“Importantly, young people who are considered
independent may receive a higher rate of payment because, unlike dependent
recipients of Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY Living Allowance, their rate is not
reduced based on parental income.”
Regional and remote students will also be supported
through a 50 per cent increase to the Assistance for Isolated Children
Additional Boarding Allowance and the means-tested component of ABSTUDY Group 2
School Fees Allowance.
“From 1 January 2017, the Assistance for Isolated Children (AIC) Additional Boarding Allowance will increase by 50 per cent,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The increase will also apply to the means-tested
component of ABSTUDY Group 2 School Fees Allowance (SFA).
“This means lower income families in rural,
regional and remote Victoria who are geographically isolated will receive
additional assistance to improve access to educational opportunities.”
The maximum annual amount of Additional Boarding
Allowance and the means-tested component of ABSTUDY Group 2 SFA will increase
from $1,533 to $2,322. It will also increase the income limit at which the
payment cuts out to $63,481pa.
About 1,300 people across Australia will benefit
from the increase to the Additional Boarding Allowance and 3,000 people will
benefit from the increased ABSTUDY Group 2 SFA.
The Additional Boarding Allowance is a means-tested
supplementary payment to provide extra support for lower-income families with a
secondary student who boards away from home. This is in addition to a
non-means tested Basic Boarding Allowance to contribute to the costs of
boarding a student away from home.
For more information on
these changes, visit: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/.