To: Hon Alan Tudge (Minister for Human Services), Hon Christian Porter (Minister for Social Services), Hon Simon Birmingham (Minister for Education and Training),
Demand Action in Support of At-Risk Students Waiting For Delayed Centrelink Payments
We demand better support of Australian university students who are struggling to get by whilst waiting for their promised Centrelink payments to be processed. This year is especially bad, with students waiting up to 3 months without any news of what is going on with their claim or when it may go through.
Please sign to let Australia's politicians Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge, Minister for Social Services Christian Porter and Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham, know that we are not happy with the current treatment of students and expect something to be done now!
Why is this important?
This article, from the Sydney Morning Herald last year describes the situation students were facing around this time last year, and 2016 is already looking like it is off to the same bad start. http://www.smh.com.au/national/delayed-centrelink-payments-put-university-students-at-risk-of-dropping-out-20150506-ggvh90.html
Many students are considering dropping out as they can not afford to wait any longer. After seeing this happen last year, why has the system not been improved? There has been time to hire staff (hello, all those young unemployed people applying for Newstart), however many students are yet again being failed by Australian Government by being kept in a vulnerable and stressful position whilst also being in a crucial decision-making time of their lives.
Last year the student wellbeing advisor at RMIT, Georgie Larkins, said that there had been a 300% increase in emergency assistance vouchers provided to students (see SMH article). One student interviewed for the SMH article last year described her experience (which I'm sure many current students will share):
"I only undertook this course knowing that I was eligible for some assistance from Centrelink, which would be subsidised with my part-time job. I feel embarrassed having to ask for money and anxious not knowing when I can expect Centrelink to come through."
How it will be delivered
I will be emailing the signatures to the relevant MPs.