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Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Page: 4103


The PRESIDENT (13:07): In respect of the Australian Education Bill 2013, the question is that the amendment on sheet 7429 circulated by the Australian Greens, be agreed to.

At the end of the motion, add "but the Senate notes that:

   (a) the bill is an important step towards establishing an enduring schools funding model, where public money is equitabl y provided to schools according to need, to ensure a universally accessible school education system;

   (b) needs-based funding is necessary to ensure public schools are funded to provide a world-class education to any student regardless of their background;

   (c) a genuine needs-based funding model would ensure all resources of a school are taken into account in determining need; and

   (d) the Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling concluded that an independent and expert national schools resourcing body should determine the applicable schooling resource standards."

Question negatived.

The PRESIDENT: The question now is that these bills be now read a second time.

Question agreed to.

Bills read a second time.

The PRESIDENT: In respect of the Australian Education Bill 2013, the question is that amendment (1) on sheet 7410 and amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 7409, circulated by the Australian Greens, be agreed to.

(1) Clause 77, page 78 (after line 28), after paragraph (2)(e), insert:

   (ea) the approved authority complies, and ensures each school complies, with relevant anti-discrimination laws of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory, and does not rely upon sections 37 or 38 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to exempt discriminatory practices from such law;

(1) Page 92 (after line 9), at the end of Part 6, add:

Part 6A—Accountability for approved authorities and bodies

96A Report about financial assistance and financial operations

(1) An approved authority, block grant authority or non-government representative body for a school must give the Secretary a report for each year that includes the following:

   (a) the total amount of financial assistance paid to the authority or body, and allocated to the school, for the year in accordance with the Act;

   (b) for an approved authority—the total amount mentioned in paragraph (a) broken down into the school's base amount, and loadings as referred to in any of paragraphs 35(a) to (f), for the year;

   (c) in any case—a statement by the board (however described) of the authority or body about how the financial assistance paid in accordance with the Act was used, or is intended to be used, by the authority or body, and the school;

   (d) a statement by the board (however described) of the authority about whether the authority or body, and the school, has in place satisfactory internal accounting systems, controls and procedures for records kept by the authority in compliance with section 34;

(e) a statement by the board (however described) of the authority or body about the financial operations (including the financial viability and funding sources) of the authority or body and the school, and includes the following:

      (i) recurrent income and expenditure;

      (ii) capital income and expenditure;

      (iii) trading activities;

      (iv) loans for recurrent or capital purposes;

      (v) assets and liabilities;

      (vi) bequests;

      (vi) any other financial information required by the Minister;

      (vii) for approved authorities—refundable enrolment deposits.

(2) The report must:

   (a) identify any records kept by the authority or body in compliance with section 34; and

   (b) include a copy of any financial statement prepared in compliance with section 35; and

(c) include a copy of any audit document prepared in compliance with section 35.

(3) The report must not include any information that would identify a donor as a funding source of the school.

(4) The report must be given to the Minister no later than a day or days (if any) determined by the Minister.

96B Public information about financial assistance

(1) For the purposes of paragraphs 85(2)(c) and 93(2)(d), a non-government representative body for a non-government school must publish the following information each year:

   (a) the amount of financial assistance (if any) provided in the year under Division 4 of Part 5 (funding for non-government representative bodies) and the application of that financial assistance;

   (b) information about the way a school applies to be allocated financial assistance in relation to capital expenditure (as the case requires);

(d) how decisions of the authority or body to allocate financial assistance are reviewed.

(2) The information mentioned in subsection (1) is the minimum information required, and this section does not prevent body from making other information publicly available.

(3) The body must:

   (a) make the information publicly available on the internet; and

   (b) make arrangements to provide the information, on request, to a person who is responsible for a student and is unable to access the internet.

Note: The authority or body may have obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 in providing information.

(4) For the purpose of paragraph 93(2)(b), a non-government representative body for a school must spend, or commit to spend, financial assistance that is payable to the body under Division 4 of Part 5 (funding for non-government representative bodies) for the purpose of supporting school education.

(2) Page 92 (after line 9), at the end of Part 6, add:

96C Further review of operation of amendments

(1) The Minister must cause an independent review to be undertaken of the operation of the issues provided for in this Act.

(2) The Minister must appoint at least 3 people with expert knowledge in the field of education to undertake the independent review.

(3) The review must consider at least the following matters:

   (a) the model for providing financial assistance to States and Territories as provided for in this Act; and

   (b) the effectiveness of the model for providing financial assistance to States and Territories as measured against the principles of needs based funding; and

   (c) any other related matter that the Minister specifies.

(4) The review must be undertaken during the period 1 July 2018 to 30 April 2019.

(5) The person who undertakes the review must give the Minister a written report of the review by 30 June 2019.

(6) The Minister must cause a copy of the report of the review to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of receiving it.

Senator Wright: I had understood that they were going to be moved separately.

The PRESIDENT: Not that I know of.

Senator Wright: In that case, I would seek to have a division on them.

The PRESIDENT: You want to divide on the outcome?

Senator Wright: Yes.

The PRESIDENT: I will put the vote again. The question is that amendment (1) on sheet 7410 and amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 7409, circulated by the Australian Greens, be agreed to.