Jenny Leong MP, Greens Member for Newtown and spokesperson for Multiculturalism today gave notice of a Private Member’s Bill in the NSW Legislative Assembly to support international students by giving them concessions on public transport.
Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown said:
“Unlike domestic students in NSW, international students are not eligible for travel concessions. Many international students are already living in poverty - 1 in 7 say they skip meals because of their financial situation. Their uni fees are 3 times higher than domestic students fees and they can only work 20hrs a week,” Ms Leong said today.
“During this pandemic, international students in NSW received no direct financial support. We all saw the harrowing images of them queuing for free food. They need every bit of help we can give them.
“International students living in NSW are a key part of our community and inject billions of dollars into the economy every year. They pay the same unaffordable rents, the same taxes and the same other costs as any other student. Getting a concession on daily travel could be the difference between being able to eat or not, being about to get to work or not. It’s a small change, with a big impact.
“In 2006, The NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal found that excluding international students from travel concessions was racial discrimination. But rather than complying with the decision, the NSW Government passed new legislation to make travel concessions exempt from the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act. This bill will remove this discrimination once and for all.
“Every student deserves travel concessions. No matter where they were born or the colour of their passport,” Ms Leong said.