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Students living in Gippsland will now wait less time to receive government payments as independent students.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren CHESTER said that from January next year students would need to earn the minimum amount required to satisfy the workforce independence provisions within 14 months, rather than 18 months.

“This means students in Gippsland who finished year 12 last year can take 14 months before beginning their tertiary studies in 2018 to earn the current amount of $24,042 to receive Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY Living Allowance,” Mr CHESTER said.

“Being considered independent is important as it can mean a higher rate of payment. This change will help young people in Gippsland to pursue their higher education goals and ease the financial burden on their families.

“It also reinforces the idea of taking a ‘gap year’ as students will now only need to defer university for one year rather than two.”

The change is part of the Coalition’s regional education package to support students living outside major cities to further their studies.

“This is a first step forward, but there is still a long way to go and I will continue to advocate for better support for country students who have to move out of home to go to university or further their education at a tertiary institution,” Mr CHESTER said.



Media contacts:  Mr Chester’s office -  Jo Crawford-Wynd  P: (03) 5144 6744  

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