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Go8-ACOSS Joint Communique: Enabling Education Access for All: Supporting Australian Students

The Group of Eight (Go8), which represents Australia’s leading research universities, and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), the peak body for the community services sector, today – 2 December 2019 – committed to a continuing joint student equity advocacy program aimed at a 2020 Federal Budget outcome.

At a joint roundtable held at Parliament House Canberra, the Go8 and ACOSS have undertaken to advocate for an increase to Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy as a way to level the playing field and ensure that financial stress does not prevent students from succeeding This is essential for TAFE, VET and university study. Students should not be disadvantaged by family hardship, lack of support or geography.

Advocacy program:

  • The Go8 reconfirms its agreement to work with ACOSS on its “Raise the Rate” campaign as it relates to increasing payments for Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy for students. *This commitment is also restated in the Go8’s 2019 Policy Paper for an incoming Government Priority Directions 21
  • The Go8 and ACOSS will advocate for improved indexation of Youth Allowance and Austudy so that these payments increase twice a year in line with wage growth as well as prices.

Youth Allowance and other related payments have not increased in real terms in 25 years. The Go8 joined ACOSS in its campaign to increase these allowances in 2017. We will continue to advocate for change, aiming for the current government to deliver an increase to Youth Allowance, Newstart and other payments in the 2020 Federal Budget.

“The nation increasingly needs a more educated workforce and a first world nation owes it to its students to ensure they are financially supported to succeed in their studies. It is an investment in Australia’s future.” Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson and ACOSS Chief Executive Officer Cassandra Goldie.

Media contacts: Vicki Thomson Go8 CE +61 407 808 472 and ACOSS Media: 0419 626 155