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EDUCATION—BUILDING THE EDUCATION REVOLUTION—BILATERAL AGREEMENTS—ORDER FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS

The Chair of the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee (Senator Back), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 158—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) the Australian Government has entered into separate bilateral agreements with the states and territories and with Block Grant Authorities (BGAs) in relation to the expenditure of funding granted under the Building the Education Revolution (BER) program,

  (ii) the language in the agreements with the states and territories differs from the language in the agreements with the BGAs with respect to the Australian Government's ability to withhold, suspend or recover monies in the event that the funding is not expended for the purposes of the program and in accordance with the BER Guidelines, and

  (iii) the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations indicated at a Senate estimates hearing in October 2010 that the Commonwealth has obtained legal advice that confirms that, notwithstanding the differences in language in the agreements, under each of the two types of agreements the Commonwealth has the power to withhold or recover monies; and

 (b) orders that there be laid on the table by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, no later than 4 pm on Thursday, 10 February 2011, a copy of the legal advice relied on by the Government to reach this conclusion.

Question put and passed.