TERITARY students in Mitchell Shire, except those from Wallan, could be eligible for a new tertiary access payment if they have to relocate for further education.
Eligibility criteria has been expanded this year to offer support to school leavers moving from what is classified as inner regional areas, which includes Kilmore, Wandong, Broadford, Lancefield and more.
Students relocating from an inner regional area may be eligible for a one-off payment of $3000.
Students can find out if their home address is in an eligible area using the student regional area search tool at www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/tertiary-access-payment.
However, tertiary students from Wallan and Beveridge will not have access to the payment as the suburbs are classed as major city locations after both were moved into the urban growth boundary.
Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell said it was a poor decision made by the Federal Government to move the towns into the boundary, separating the local government area and opportunities available for its residents.
“[The Federal Government] could have used local government areas to determine the boundary but have instead gone with this approach… which is a complete stuff up,” he said.
“[Moving Wallan and Beveridge into the boundary] does come with its positives and negatives but this is one of the reasons we are pushing for teritary education in the area, so everyone has better access.”
Students applying for the payment will also need to meet other criteria including studying at least 75 per cent of a full-time study load over an academic year; starting their study in the year immediately following completion of year 12 or equivalent with no gap year; being aged 22 or younger on the day they start their tertiary course; and having parents or guardians whose income is under the current combined parental income limit of $250,000.
The one-off payment can be received in addition of other financial support including Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY.
Students who aren’t eligible for other student payments could still be eligible for the tertiary access payment.
Eligible students can only receive the payment once, only in their first year of study and it is not taxable.
To make a claim, students should access their Centrelink account through myGov, and will need to provide proof of the address of their family home in an inner regional area.
They will also need supporting documents ready to help answer some of the questions in the claim, including their study details and details of their parents’ or guardians’ income.
For more information on the support available to students leaving secondary school, visit www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/leaving-secondary-school.