The National Union of Students (NUS) condemns Centrelink for once again leaving students high and dry, this time gender-diverse and non-binary students who are some of the most marginalised within the student community.
Fresh from collecting tens of thousands of dollars in unfair debt from students and young people, it was revealed in a Guardian article from 6 April 2017 that “Non-binary and gender-diverse students who receive the youth allowance have been warned their payments may be cut off because Centrelink’s internal system only allows for male or female.”
Gender-diverse and non-binary students who select their gender as “unspecified” on university enrolment forms are finding that these details don’t match up with Centrelink’s systems, as no unspecified gender option is available. Student’s details will not appear on file despite repeated attempts at submitting the required paperwork.
“Centrelink has already robbed welfare recipients of tens of thousands of dollars due to a faulty robo-debt collection system. Now they want to go after students whose only crime is asserting their own gender identity,” said Chris di Pasquale, NUS National LGBTI Officer.
“Our campaign to ‘Put the LGBT into making education free’ has been about highlighting the fact that when the government attacks education and welfare, it’s LGBTIQ+ students who are acutely affected by these attacks.” di Pasquale says.
“This system must cease in attacking our most innocent and vulnerable.” said NUS Welfare Officer Jill Molloy. “I’m unsure how Mr Tudge has been allowed to get away with such discrimination and intimidation tactics!”.
“Centrelink and the Liberal Party are no friends of the LGBTIQ+ community and we’ll fight not just these attacks on gender-diverse and non-binary students but against all attacks by the government on our education and living standards.”
NUS LGBTI calls on LGBTIQ+ students to protest the day after the Federal Budget is released, 17 May 2017, in their capital city.
Budget protest details:
Sophie Johnston National President | National Union of Students