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Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Page: 11772


Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (10:07): On behalf of the Standing Committee on Education and Employment I present the committee's advisory report on the Higher Education Support Amendment (Maximum Payment Amounts and Other Measures) Bill 2012, together with the minutes of proceedings and evidence received by the committee, and I ask leave of the House to make a short statement in connection with the report.

Leave granted.

In accordance with standing order 39(f) the report was made a parliamentary paper.

Ms RISHWORTH: The Higher Education Support Amendment (Maximum Payment Amounts and Other Measures) Bill 2012 was introduced into the House on 12 September. On 13 September the House Selection Committee referred the bill to the Education and Employment Committee for inquiry and report.

The bill consists of three schedules. Schedules 1 and 2 are just funding, and schedule 3 proposes amendments relating to the use and disclosure of data collected under the Higher Education Support Act 2003. The Selection Committee cited the principal matter for consideration was the measures under schedule 3, which were the issues around privacy.

The inquiry received six submissions. All bar one expressed strong support for the proposed measure on the grounds of the facilitation of the efficient and timely collection and sharing of data. The National Tertiary Education Union stated their reservations on aspects of this measure, and the committee was keen to follow up to see if these concerns were shared more widely. We approached the Privacy Commissioner, who had not put in a submission, and the National Union of Students to seek their comments as to whether they had any additional concerns that they may not have put in a submission. Both of these groups were satisfied with the safeguards accompanying the proposed measures. Both organisations confirmed their satisfaction, and, accordingly, the committee has recommended that the House pass the bill.

In closing I would like to thank all my committee colleagues who supported the inquiry, and Glen Worthington, from the committee secretariat. I commend the report to the House.