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Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Page: 129


Senator BRANDIS (Minister for the Arts and Sport) (5:48 PM) —The subclauses 45(1) and 45(2) make it clear that it is the education minister who authorises grants of financial assistance to eligible higher education institutions. I note that this power was not disputed by any of the parties who made submissions or gave evidence to the recent Senate committee hearing. It is proper that the right to authorise grants rests with the responsible minister, who is accountable to the department for her decisions. This is not an unusual situation. The government has many successful, robust grants programs that do not table recommendations of ministerial advisory bodies in parliament. I further note that the government has made it clear that the higher education sector will have a genuine opportunity to engage in the development of this new funding program.

Question negatived.

Bill agreed to.

HIGHER EDUCATION ENDOWMENT FUND (CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS) BILL 2007

Bill—by leave—taken as a whole.

Bill agreed to.

Bills reported without amendment; report adopted.