School leaver Brooke Pagel is working locally, before heading to university next year.
School leaver Brooke Pagel is working locally, before heading to university next year. Renee Pilcher

Uni income support confusing

CONFUSION reigns over changes to income support for Gympie region university students.

A compromise has been introduced, with a two-tier eligibility system that sees students whose parental home is in a small regional city like Gympie operating under the new workforce participation criteria, while others whose parental home is in Kilkivan, Goomeri or Murgon will be assessed under less onerous rules.

Speaking to a cross section of Gympie region parents this week, The Gympie Times found most were thoroughly perplexed by the situation.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss said the changes fell well short of a good deal for regional students, adding that while the Liberal and National parties succeeded in having the Rudd Labor Government’s punitive retrospective changes to youth allowance eliminated, they had imposed new boundaries that excluded most Wide Bay students from this concession.

Mr Truss said the boundaries for the new test were illogical.

School leavers from an ‘outer regional’ area, for example Goomeri, will stay on the former rules, only needing to work 15 hours a week over two years or to earn $19,532 over 18 months.

In ‘inner regional’ areas like Gympie and Tiaro, school leavers will need to work 30 hours a week for 18 months within a two-year period to qualify for the independent rate of youth allowance.

Gympie Times


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