The Australian Greens have called for a proposal for a National Student Card to be put on the COAG agenda as a matter of urgency, according to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Education, says it's important that the discrepancies between states and territories on tertiary student access to concession transport are ironed out as soon as possible.
"All tertiary students deserve access to concession transport, whether they be undergrads or postgrads, domestic or international students or TAFE students,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.
"At the moment, the system is a mess, with some groups of students eligible in some states but not in others. A nationally consistent student concession card would be more equitable and would also reflect the reality that a student's need for concessions does not stop at state borders.
"This isn't something the Federal Government can do on its own, we need the co-operation of the states and territories, and the best way to achieve this is to promote discussion on the COAG agenda as soon as possible.''
The Greens have already announced a suite of initiatives to help students, including an increase in the rate of Youth Allowance to give students $115 extra a fortnight, a geographic test to make students who have to move 90 minutes out of home to access tertiary education eligible for the full rate of Youth Allowance, and a three-point plan to increase affordable and fair student housing.
"The National Student Card is another element in the Greens' plan to support students,'' Senator Hanson-Young said. "The Greens will work to ensure that all tertiary students should have access to concession travel on public transport, regardless of their location, residency status or type of enrolment.''