Media releases

Centrelink not just broken, but unfair

20 Jan 17

Friday January 20, 2017

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is calling for student income support to be extended to all domestic postgraduate students and the scrapping of the automated debt recovery system.

In the 2017­18 CAPA Pre­Budget Submission we have requested that income support be extended to all postgraduate students through Youth Allowance and Austudy. This includes all postgraduate coursework students as well as all research students not covered by a scholarship.

In 2014 the Abbott Government decided to scrap the proposed extension of income support through youth allowance and Austudy to all postgraduate coursework students that was recommended in the Bradley review[1].

According to the Universities Australia 2012 report on student finances, 25% of postgraduate coursework students go without meals and essentials on a daily basis due to financial issues[2].

“The Federal Government needs to fix the system and make income support available to all students” said CAPA National President Peter Derbyshire.

“More and more students are funding their own research and some are not even eligible for income support. These are students on the forefront of research or the future professionals of Australia yet those that have a low socio­economic standing are locked out.”

CAPA also stands with the National Union of Students (NUS) in their call for the scrapping of the Centrelink Automated Debt Recovery System that is plaguing those that need the most support.

“The entirety of Centrelink needs an overhaul starting with extending income support to all students regardless of course and ending the debacle of the automated debt recovery system.” said Mr Derbyshire.

For comment: Peter Derbyshire CAPA National President M: 0435 047 817

[1] Denise Bradley, Peter Noonan, Helen Nugent, & Bill Scales (2008) “Review of the Australian Higher Education: Final Report [Bradley review]” Prepared for The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Retrieved From

[2] Universities Australia, (2013) “Australian University Student Finances In 2012” Retrieved from https://www.­studies/Australian­University­Student­Finances­in­ 2012#.WICe11yo3Ms