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MEDIA RELEASE: Students call on NSW government to extend student public transport pricing to international students

30 Jul 19

Students call on NSW government to extend student public transport pricing to international students

A coalition of fourteen student organisations is asking the New South Wales government to grant concession public transport fares to international students, in line with all other Australian states.

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA), in partnership with the Council of International Students Australia (CISA), National Union of Students (NUS), and all campus-based student associations of NSW, has today released a discussion paper outlining the case for international student concessions.

We estimate that extending public transport concessions to higher education students in NSW would cost the state a maximum of $169 million per year. This is based on the assumption that all students will be using the weekly maximum Opal card (which is currently $25 concession or $50 full fare) for 52 weeks per year. In reality, most students will use public transportation less often, especially those who travel to their home countries during study breaks.

This cost is minimal when compared to the $13 billion injected into the NSW economy by international students in 2018. Reducing this everyday cost for international students will increase their satisfaction with their treatment in Australia, at a relatively small cost to the state.

There are currently no concessions available for international students in NSW, with the discounted MyMulti pass program for international students being quietly ended in 2016.

“With the current situation of international students relying on limited and underpaid casual work for their day-to-day expenses including high rent in NSW, paying full fares is an additional hardship,” says CAPA International Officer, Devendra Singh.

“There are a lot of international students struggling financially and cutting their food expenses in order to pay for their daily commute. These experiences damage the global reputation of New South Wales as an education destination. The state must maintain its reputation by extending concessions on public transport to all students.”

The discussion paper can be downloaded from: http://www.capa.edu.au/discussion-paper-public-transport-concessions-international-students-new-south-wales/

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For comment:
CAPA National President Natasha Abrahams
M: 0430 076 993
E: president@capa.edu.au