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Govt faces Youth Allowance amendments in Budget measures

Greens spokesperson for Education, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the Federal Government must take seriously concerns about changes to Youth Allowance eligibility within the Federal Budget.

The Greens announced this morning that they would be referring Budget changes to the Youth Allowance to a Senate Inquiry and moving to amend the legislation when it reaches the Senate. Of particular concern is the removal of two of the three work eligibility criteria for a young person to qualify as independent, effective from January 2010.

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Greens to refer Youth Allowance changes to Inquiry

The Greens say they will refer changes to Youth Allowance within last week’s Federal Budget to a Senate Inquiry to investigate the effect of those changes on students and their welfare and educational outcomes.

Last Tuesday’s Budget included the removal of two of the three work eligibility criteria* for a young person to qualify as independent, and so receive Youth Allowance as income support while they study. These changes are effective from January 2010.

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Youth Allowance changes catch students short

The Greens say changes to Youth Allowance in Tuesday’s Budget should have seen an increase in the fortnightly payment, and consistent introduction dates to allow students to prepare for their study careers.

Changes to Youth Allowance in the Budget included a tougher independence test, including removal of two of the three work eligibility criteria.

Greens spokesperson for Education, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, said her office had been approached by concerned students and parents about the Government’s changes to independence under Youth Allowance.

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Govt has hands off the wheel as ABC Learning fallout continues

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says that the Federal Government must intervene to protect childcare workers’ jobs and the stability of children’s care, as the fallout from last November’s ABC Learning collapse continues.

Today is the deadline for ABC Learning’s court-appointed receiver, PPB, to sell the 241 centres deemed unviable under the ABC Learning model. Reports say the fate of all of these centres is still not known, and that some workers have lost their jobs.

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Greens introduce Bill for 26 weeks’ paid parental leave

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced her Private Member’s Bill to provide for 26 weeks’ paid parental leave in the Senate this afternoon, with the aim of securing government-funded leave for Australian parents before 2011.

The Greens announced last month that Senator Hanson-Young would introduce the Bill, in light of widespread community support for such a scheme, and a lack of Government commitment to paid parental leave at the time.

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SA Budget funds represent missed opportunities

Greens Senator for South Australia Sarah Hanson-Young has pointed to extra millions for Adelaide’s desalination plant and a drop in money for water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin as the weak links in South Australia’s allocation in the Federal Budget.

An extra $228 million was provided for Adelaide’s desalination plant on the agreement that it double its output from 50GL to 100GL per year, while $16.4 million over two years was cut from water reform programs for the Murray-Darling Basin.

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No reason to delay paid parental leave

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young today welcomed the Rudd Government's long overdue commitment to introduce paid maternity leave but rejected the delay until after the next election.

Senator Hanson-Young also called for an extension to 26 weeks and sought clarity on whether the scheme would apply to dads as well as mums.

"There can be absolutely no justification for delaying paid parental leave until beyond the next election," said Senator Hanson-Young.

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