In 2013, some important changes to the Conveyance Allowance Program (CAP) will take place.The Conveyance Allowance Program provides financial assistance to families attending schools in rural or remote areas who have limited or no access to public transport or a school bus.

This is the first review of the program in 30 years and the Government has decided to better target the assistance to those most in need. Please read below to find out how the introduced changes affect our school. You should also refer to the accompanying documentation:

Means Testing

From 1 January 2013 means testing will come into effect and all new conveyance allowance applications will be subject to it.

Applicants for the conveyance allowance must be listed on a means tested pension concession card or health care card that can be verified by Centrelink. Students who qualify for the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) may also qualify to receive the conveyance allowance, subject to the eligibility criteria.

Means testing is a new criterion that has been added to the existing eligibility requirements. The current eligibility criteria remain unchanged and must also be met.

Urban Metropolitan Boundary Change and Exemption

From 1 January 2013, the Department will use a new boundary based on Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary (the UGB defines Melbourne’s urban area and is managed by intergovernmental agencies and statutory authorities).
At present, Tyabb campus is inside the UGB, however it has been exempted. The campus’ postcode area is recognised as having limited public transport options for travel to and from the school. Until public transport options develop further, it is appropriate to continue the payment of the conveyance allowance. The exemption enables students, who meet the new criteria, to claim the conveyance allowance.

The exemption from the UGB is for 2013 only and will be reviewed annually. The school’s eligibility status will change once accessibility to the school develops sufficiently.

 Transitioning to the New Eligibility Criteria  – Grandfathering

To help schools and families transition to the new eligibility, the Minister has directed the Department to ‘grandfather’ existing payments of students for the duration of either their primary years of schooling or for the duration of their secondary years of schooling. This means all eligible students in receipt of the conveyance allowance in 2012 are entitled to continue to receive it as long as they:

  1. remain in either their primary or secondary years at the school from which they received the allowance in 2012
  2. remain at the residential address as listed on their 2012 conveyance allowance application.

Primary students attending a P-12 school are entitled to have their conveyance allowance grandfathered until they complete Year 6. Under the grandfathering conditions, Year 7 students attending a P-12 school in 2013 are not entitled to have their allowance grandfathered, irrespective of their continued attendance at the school and receiving the allowance the previous year.

The grandfathering of the allowance gives schools, families and bus companies time to plan and adapt transport arrangements to the changed eligibility criteria.