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Youth Allowance Solution Needed In O-Week

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 23 Feb 2010

The Federal Government must act urgently to bring on its Youth Allowance legislation this week, to give students the resolution they need before starting the academic year, according to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Education, says Parliament has to deal with student income support as soon as possible to reassure students and families.

"The Government needs to show commitment to its Youth Allowance legislation, which has been in limbo for months,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

"O-Weeks are starting around the country this week, and yet we are apparently no closer to a resolution.

"Universities are urging action on Youth Allowance, students' groups are calling for an end to the impasse, while students themselves try to make a start at university despite having no idea what support, if any, they will receive. They need an answer and they need it quickly.

"The Greens have a plan to try to break the deadlock - if the Government does not bring on its legislation this week, I will move to introduce my Private Senators Bill on Thursday.''

The Government's Youth Allowance legislation, which was supported with amendments by the Greens, failed to pass the Senate last year after the Coalition and Senator Steve Fielding voted it down.

There appears to have been little movement in the numbers since then.

"It will not be easy to get the bill passed this week, but that is no reason not to try,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

"The Government should be bringing the Bill on immediately so the Senate can try to agree on a solution - students and their families can't afford to wait any longer.''

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