Student discount on travel

STUDENTS who work can legally claim a travel concession after the state government overturned rules many students flouted anyway.

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian  announced the state government has rescinded regulations that  limited 50 per cent discounts on bus and train fares to full-time, unemployed day university and TAFE students  only.

Under the changes university, TAFE and private college students will now be eligible for transport concessions if they have a job or other income, attend evening classes or are undertaking postgraduate study.

The Newcastle Herald reported in 2011 travel concession rorting was widespread among  students, who either mistakenly or deliberately flouted regulations  preventing postgraduate or students with part-time work claiming discounts.

Many  said they did not work when they applied for a concession stamp on their student card, the students’ union said at the time.

 “The eligibility criteria for travel concessions have been around for many years and simply did not reflect how people live and study today,’’  Mrs Berejiklian said.

Newcastle University Students’ Association president Rose Gosper said it was great to see their campaign  actually working.

■ Universities have called for more government money  in their Smarter Australia policy document released yesterday.

Glyn Davis, Universities Australia chairman, said the sector wanted base funding lifted by 2.5per cent a year over the next three years.

Responding to the recommendation, University of Newcastle vice-chancellor Caroline McMillen said Australia’s public funding of universities was ranked in the bottom 20per cent of Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

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