Nationals’ student support review will hurt local families

USING the cover of Christmas, the National Party has quietly announced it will review
Nanjing Night Net

student support, including the start-up scholarship, for low-income families if elected next

year.

Independent Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott said any move to reduce funding support for students

from regional communities would have a devastating impact on local families.

“The National Party’s Lyne candidate David Gillespie continues to deny the reality of inequity

that is at the core of disadvantage for regional students,” Mr Oakeshott said.

“Cutting start-up support to assist first-year university students from regional Australia is

just the latest example of this.

“When the National Party announces it will review all student income support, everyone

knows this is code for cuts, cuts and more cuts.

“Personally, I am offended for two reasons. First, the National Party continues to ignore and

deny the issue of inequity. Its policies to date – at secondary and tertiary education levels –

show the party does not recognise any problem at all for regional communities trying to

access better education. This is absolutely and fundamentally wrong, and goes against

everything a so-called regional political party should stand for.

“Second, I personally negotiated a better student support package with the Prime Minister in

the early days of this 43

rd

Parliament. A record $265 million annual Youth Allowance

package was negotiated to help regional and local students break through the ‘glass ceiling’

of education opportunity. To see this now challenged is a direct slap in the face to the

many students who are currently benefiting from these new opportunities.

“Students need to look very closely at the National Party’s funding review announcement. It

is sneaky in its timing the week before Christmas, and it screams cuts to student support for

locals trying to get ahead in life,” Mr Oakeshott said.

Member for Lyne Rob Oakeshott is wary of the National Party’s student support plans.

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