Nationals MPs welcome subclass 457 visa school fee changes
Author: martin aldridge
Published on: 19-September-2013
Nationals Members for the Agricultural Region, Martin Aldridge MLC and Paul Brown MLC, have welcomed the State Government’s announcement it will reconsider the subclass 457 visa school fee decision.
The policy handed down in the budget earlier this year would have meant WA’s subclass 457 visa holders pay a per-child fee of $4000 to send their children to public schools from next year.
Mr Aldridge said Tuesday’s changes meant the fee wouldn't be implemented until 2015 and the per annum fee would be reduced to $2000 for each additional child from the same family.
"We are pleased the Government has decided to amend this decision to present a fairer approach," Mr Aldridge said.
"Whilst we acknowledge the improvements in the policy, our preference would be to have a consideration of a family’s financial means in the calculation of a per student fee."
Mr Aldridge said without the advocacy of The Nationals in Parliament, thechanges would not have been a reality.
Nationals MPs have previously been vocal about theissue, emphasising the pressure the fee would place on regional families and communities.
Mr Brown has been consulting extensively with communities across the Agricultural Region and early last month Mr Aldridge wrote to the Minister for Education outlining their concerns.
Mr Brown said that The Nationals will continue to liaise with communities and the Minister to attempt to source more information and ensure the best possible outcome for all involved.
"Changing this decision acknowledges that the implementation of this fee was unfair in the first instance and that exceptional circumstances may need to be taken into account," Mr Brown said.
"We look forward to working with the Minister when he brings legislation to the Parliament later this year to enact these changes."
For further information please contact Paul on (08) 9921 4818 or Martin on (08) 9324 3155.