USING the cover of Christmas, the National Party has quietly announced it will review
student support, including the start-up scholarship, for low-income families if elected next
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
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.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.