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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) Australia. He said those

abusing the system would not be

tolerated. Nick Xenophon will

be joining us on the program

soon. The Foreign Affairs

Minister Stephen Smith has

responded to reports of foreign

students in Australia being exploited. He told Australia

recent introduction of a Network's 'Newshour' that the

regulatory board is just the

first step in a crackdown on

teaching scams. We've been

applying ourselves across-the-board so far as

education services are concerned. We want Australia to

continue to be a good place for

students to come, whether

that's from India or Singapore

or elsewhere. But any of these

abuses, we of course won't

tolerate and don't tolerate.

And the cracking down so far as

the migration agents'

regulatory arrangements are

concerned will assist in that

process just as the efforts

we've been making together with

the Indian Government both in

India and through its High

Commission in Australia on the

education services front will

this just as a security matter, also help. We haven't treated

we've also treated it as an education services matter. Stephen Smith speaking last night on 'Newshour'. last night on 'Newshour'. Now,

for more on this independent

senator Nick Xenophon joins us.

He has proposed setting up a

compensation scheme for

overseas students who have been

defrauded by education

providers. He also wants the

establishment of an

international students'

ombudsman to investigate their

complaints and act as an advocate on their behalf. He

joins us now from the Adelaide

newsroom. Good morning and

thank you for joining us. Good

morning, pleasure. What do morning, pleasure. What do you

make of the suggestion just

there by Stephen Smith about

the measures that have been put

in place so far? Obviously

those measures are welcome but

we need to do more. I was in

India four weeks ago, and spoke

to some of the local media

there. This is a big issue in

India. It's getting

wall-to-wall media coverage. We could say some of that coverage

is unfair but we need to do more. Having a more. Having a compensation

scheme in place, a statutory

scheme so that if an accredited

provider does the wrong thing

or goes belly-up, those family

who is in many cases have put

their life savings up for their

sons or daughters to come to

Australia won't be left in the

lurch. Secondly, we need an

international students' ombudsman. There are 315,000

international students here.

It's a $15 billion a year

industry. And responsible for

over 120,000 full-time

equivalent jobs. So this is an

industry that we need to

nurture, and to have safeguards

in place, because right now,

we're being hammered on the

subcontinent and we need to do

something to restore confidence

in the sector. On that point of

being hammered on the

subcontinent - when you combine

this issue with the extensive

reporting of some violence

against Indian students here in

Australia, in your view given

what you heard and saw overseas, are we on the brink

of losing this very lucrative

industry? Let's put it this

way: four years ago, there were

8,000 Indian students in this country. Now there are

something like 90,000. Just as

we had that 10-fold increase in

four years, we could have a

10-fold decrease in a similar amount of time. It's very important for Australia's reputation we're seen to be

desize yf, we pull desize yf, we pull out all

stops to do everything possible

to ensure that international

students, and their families,

have a degree of comfort both

in terms of the standard of

education and on issues of

safety as well. So are you

planning or hoping to speak to the Federal Government about

the two proposals you mentioned

this morning? Sure. I think that these would be good

strong signal throughout the measures that would send a

region, particularly in India,

that we're serious about this

issue that we're willing to

take these extra steps to give

a level of comfort and security

for those overseas students.

Because this is an industry

that we can't afford to let go.

This is an industry that needs to expand rather than contract.

And I think it's important in Australia's national interests

that we do everything possible. Just changing

subjects now - what do you

think of the nine conditions that Malcolm Turnbull has

suggested in order for the opposition , the coalition to

support the government's ETS?

Well, I think what's most

significant about those

conditions is that the

coalition is willing to talk to

the government about the ETS.

That's obviously a welcome

development. You may know that

I'm along with the coalition,

I'm co-funding some economic

modelling to look at

alternative scheme designs.

That should be available in the

available in the next next few days. That should be

available in the next few days,

hopefully before Parliament

resumes. We should look at

other scheme designs so we can

maximise the environmental

impact whilst minimising the

economic impact of an emissions

trading scheme. It's quite a

long time now before any

trading emissions scheme is put

in place. If we wait for your

modelling to come through,

discussion about that,

negotiation with the

legislation, does that matter government, some redrafting of

legislation, does that matter

if it's going to take another

six months, say even a year?

Look, it matters a lot less in the context of the government

putting off the scheme for 12

months anyway, just two months

ago. I think it's important

that we get it right. But I

also think it's important that

we actually have a debate about

the architecture of the scheme. I think there are fundamental

flaws in this current scheme.

It's Byzantine in its

complexity there is a lot complexity there is a lot of

revenue churn. It's all stick

and no carrot in terms of

cleaner industries. So I think

it's important that we have

that debate, but my guess is

that it won't be passed in August but it's likely that

there will be more serious

negotiations in the lead-up to

the Bill coming back a second

time in November. And there's

talk this morning in one of the

papers n the 'Australian', of

doubling compensation to the

coal industry, as a way of coal industry, as a way of

offering them a bit more of a

carrot to keep using your

analogy. What do you make of

that? I think the reason why there is so much compensation

built into this is because the

scheme is so clunky and

complex, and so revenue

churning in the first place. If

there is a bet er scheme te

sign you won't get those di torsions and the government

attempting to patch them up

with bucketloads of

compensation for various industries. And I industries. And I understand the dismay of green groups in relation to the level of compensation. I think it's a

question of getting the scheme

design right, and then some of

these problems won't exist to

the same extent if you don't

have such a chunky scheme to

begin with. Just finally this

morning, I understand you spent

an interesting weekend reading

Kevin Rudd's economic essay?

Well, I didn't - I was short of

time on the weekend. I time on the weekend. I had a

choice between reading Kevin

Rudd's 6,000 word piece or the

latest story on Silvio

Berlusconi's sexual exploits. I

chose Silvio, but I'm sure I

will read Kevin's essay in due

season. Don't go useing that

phrase on this program, Nick

Xenophon! Nice to talk to you.

Thanks so much.

Pleasure. That's what the Prime

Minister has to do in order to

get readers, turn all

Berlusconi and sexy on us! Berlusconi and sexy on us! It'd be interesting to see how