MEDIA STATEMENT

Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) commends the Federal Government’s announcement last night to extend the $550 Temporary Coronavirus Supplement fortnightly payment to the 250,000 students and apprentices on Youth Allowance (student), Austudy and ABSTUDY.

“Last night’s announcement was a massive relief for so many young people,” says Katherine Ellis, CEO of Youth Affairs Council Victoria.

“Many students have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 shock on the economy, and would have been trying to pay for rent and basic essentials on less than $40 a day.

“We are pleased to see the temporary increase being extended to more young people, and hope to see in the long-term the income support rate raised permanently so that young people who cannot find work can continue to cover their basic needs.”

YACVic is also calling on Government to ensure disabled young people and young carers don’t miss out, and to provide support to international students, New Zealanders and young people on temporary work visas.

“We remain concerned about the thousands of disabled young people, who are now left below the income support level provided to non-disabled people,” says Ms Ellis.

“Disabled young people also will require extra relief. The disruption of support workers, services and supplies that are essential to their health and wellbeing means it is crucial that young disabled people have additional funds to access the support they need.

“This is particularly important as only 10% of disabled people have access to NDIS packages. It is vital that the government supports young disabled people in an equitable manner that ensures their human rights are upheld.

“For carers, changes in services will also provide additional costs and challenges to ensuring they can provide the essential support and care needed.

“Other vulnerable groups are the tens of thousands of international students, New Zealanders and young people on temporary work visas who are not eligible for the government support announced to date.  These are all young people who are part of our community now, and we have a duty of care to them too.

“1 in 7 young Victorians are international students. In these extraordinarily difficult times, every young person deserves to be properly supported to afford rent, pay for essentials and access the services they need.”

Media contact:

Thomas Feng, YACVic Media and Communications Manager, 043128527. Katherine Ellis, YACVic CEO is available for further comment.

About Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic)

Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) is the peak body and leading advocate for young people aged 12–25 and the youth sector in Victoria. Established in 1960, YACVic advocates for the rights of young people in Victoria to ensure they are active, visible and valued in their communities.