A Fair Start for Students
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The future of our country currently lies in the hands of people who cannot make ends meet. Tertiary students are expected to complete 40 hours of study a week (the equivalent of full time work) while working to support themselves financially and living away from home, often not by choice. This means that in order to support themselves financially, students must currently make study a second priority.
The biggest hindrance to students studying away from home is an inability to receive Centrelink payments. Young people are considered financially dependent on their parents until they are 22, by which point, many will have finished their degrees. It is unrealistic to expect that every student is in a position to be financially supported by their parents. The current Centrelink conditions imposed on students overlook the significant number of families that live between being poor enough to be eligible for Centrelink and wealthy enough to afford to support a child through university.
If we truly want an agile economy, we need a young, educated and energetic workforce. How can we expect students to fill this role when they are beaten down by their living conditions and wondering when they are going to be able to eat their next meal?
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