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Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Bill 2000

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1998-2000

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIGENOUS EDUCATION (TARGETED ASSISTANCE) BILL 2000

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, the Hon Dr David Kemp MP)

 

 

 

 





EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

OUTLINE

 

INDIGENOUS EDUCATION (TARGETED ASSISTANCE) BILL 2000

 

The Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Bill 2000 will be the vehicle for the Government’s Indigenous education targeted funding programme for the 2001-2004 quadrennium and will provide the authority to appropriate some $591 million in grants to Indigenous education providers in the States and Territories over the quadrennium.

 

The Bill will implement the 1999-2000 Budget initiatives for Indigenous education, including the Commonwealth priorities to improve literacy, numeracy and attendance outcomes for Indigenous students. 

 

Specifically, the Bill will provide funding for the Indigenous Education Strategic Initiatives Programme (IESIP) for the period 1 January 2001 to 30 June 2005 to maintain Commonwealth effort in improving education outcomes for Indigenous Australians.  This incorporates supplementary recurrent funding and funding for specific projects with the purpose of meeting the objects of the Bill.  It will also provide for the continuation of the ‘Away-From-Base’ element of ABSTUDY, transferred to IESIP in 1999, for the 2001-2004 period.

 

The Bill allows the Minister to enter into a formal agreement authorising the making of payments to an education provider or other person or body for the purpose of advancing an object of the Bill.  The agreement will contain a number of conditions that the grant recipients must meet.  These conditions will include accountability provisions such as specifying agreed performance targets to be achieved and the provision of financial reports.  The Bill allows the Commonwealth to recover or withhold funding if the conditions of the agreement are breached.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

Total funding levels for the 2001-2004 programme years under the Bill are estimated to be around $591 million.  This level of funding is consistent with previous commitments by the Government to Indigenous education.

 

 

 





 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

PART 1 - PRELIMINARY

 

 

Clause 1 - Short Title

 

This clause identifies the legislation as the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Act 2000.

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

This clause provides that the Act will commence on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3 - Overview of the Act

 

This clause provides an overview of the Act, namely that the Minister can make an agreement with an education provider or other person or body authorising the making of payments during the period 1 January 2001 to 30 June 2005.  Agreements can be made with education providers or with other persons or bodies for the purpose of advancing the objects of this Act.  The amounts of payments made under an agreement must be specified in the agreement or worked out in accordance with the agreement.  If there is a breach of a condition in an agreement, the Minister may require an amount to be repaid to the Commonwealth.  If the amount is not repaid other payments under the agreement may be reduced or the Commonwealth may recover an amount as a debt.

 

Clause 4 - Definitions

 

This clause defines terms and expressions used in the Act.

 

 

PART 2 - OBJECTS OF THE ACT

 

 

Clause 5 - Object of Act - equitable and appropriate educational outcomes for Indigenous people

 

This clause provides that an object of this Act is to achieve equitable and appropriate education outcomes for Indigenous people.

 

Clause 6 - Object of Act - equal access to education by Indigenous people

 

This clause provides that an object of this Act is to ensure that Indigenous people enjoy equality with other Australians in their access to education.

 



Clause 7 - Object of Act - equity of participation by Indigenous people in education

 

This clause provides that an object of this Act is to ensure equity in participation by Indigenous people in education.

 

Clause 8 - Object of Act - increasing involvement of Indigenous people in educational decisions

 

This clause provides that an object of this Act is to increase the involvement of Indigenous people in the making of decisions concerning education.

 

Clause 9 - Object of Act - to develop culturally appropriate education services for Indigenous people

 

This clause provides that an object of this Act is to encourage the development of education services that are culturally appropriate for Indigenous people.

 

 

PART 3 - AGREEMENTS

 

 

Clause 10 - Agreements with education providers

 

This clause prescribes that the Minister may make an agreement with an education provider for the purpose of advancing the objects of the Act that authorises the making of one or more payments to the provider in one or more specified funding years for: 

 

·          recurrent expenditure

·          one or more specified ABSTUDY approved courses

·          specified projects

 

The amount or amounts of the payments for each of these purposes for each funding year covered by the agreement must be specified in the agreement, or worked out in accordance with the agreement.

 

Clause 11 - Agreements with other persons or bodies

 

This clause prescribes that the Minister may make an agreement with a person or body (other than an education provider) for the purpose of advancing the objects of the Act that authorises the making of one or more payments to the person or body for one or more specified projects.  The amount or amounts of the payments for each of these purposes for each funding year covered by the agreement must be specified in the agreement, or worked out in accordance with the agreement.

 

Clause 12 - Recovery of payments

 

This clause prescribes that where an education provider or another person or body breaches a condition of the agreement that the Minister may by notice sent to the recipient require the recipient to repay to the Commonwealth the amount stated in the notice.  Where the recipient does not make such a repayment then the Minister may reduce other amounts payable to the recipient under the agreement or the Commonwealth may recover as a debt in a court of competent jurisdiction the outstanding balance of the recoverable amount.

 

PART 4 - APPROPRIATIONS

 

 

Clause 13 - Appropriations for ABSTUDY payments

 

This clause provides that ABSTUDY payments are to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is appropriated accordingly.

 

Clause 14 - Appropriations for non-ABSTUDY payments

 

This clause prescribes the funding amounts appropriated out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for each of the funding years for non-ABSTUDY payments (that is, for recurrent expenditure and specified projects).  These funding amounts cover the period 1 January 2001 to 30 June 2005.  This clause also provides for regulations to be made for increasing the funding amounts detailed in this clause.  This allows for cost supplementation to be applied on an annual basis to these funds.

 

Clause 15 - Appropriations operate separately

 

This clause provides that each provision that appropriates money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund operates separately from the other provisions that appropriate money.

 

Clause 16 - Money appropriated under the old Act to be available under this Act

 

This clause provides that funding provided under the Indigenous Education (Supplementary Assistance) Act 1989 for the period starting on 1 January 2000 and ending on 30 June 2001 is also available for the purpose of making non-ABSTUDY payments during the period starting on 1 January 2001 and ending on 30 June 2002.

 

 

PART 5 - OTHER MATTERS

 

 

Clause 17 - Delegation

 

This clause enables the Minister to delegate any of the Minister’s powers under this Act to the Secretary of the Department or an APS employee in the Department.

 

Clause 18 - Regulations

 

This clause enables the Governor-General to make regulations prescribing matters required or permitted by this Act or necessary or convenient for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.