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Opposition victory on education export bill



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P A R L IA M E N T OF A U S T R A L IA

H O U S E OF R E P R E S E N T A T IV E S

145 KOORNANG ROAD

CARNEGIE. VIC. 3163 TEL. (03) 571 3311 FAX. (03) 571 6020

DR DAVID KEMP, M.P.

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR GOLDSTEIN 1 SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION

18 June 1991

MEDIA RELEASE

OPPOSITION VICTORY ON EDUCATION EXPORT BILL

The Opposition has scored a significant victory in the Senate in its amendments to the export of education services legislation, the Education Services (Export Regulation) BiU, the Shadow Minister for Education, Dr David Kemp, said today.

The amendments address some of the main issues raised in the Industry Commission Draft Report on the export education industry, and get rid of the most draconian and commercially impractical provisions of the original Bill.

Almost every aspect of the legislation has been amended to address weaknesses of the original Bill.

The Senate passed the legislation after the Government was forced to accept Opposition criticism of the legislation and agree to extensive Opposition amendments.

The Opposition has followed this legislation dosely and with great concern. Throughout, the Opposition has sought to adopt a constructive approach.

The Industry Commission's Draft Report on Exports o f Education Services released this month had vindicated the Opposition's sustained criticism. Among other conclusions:

* It stated that the financial provisions of the Bill were unnecessarily detailed and onerous “and represent an attempt to solve a problem which may in large part already be behind us."

* And that the insurance or alternative arrangements required by the Bill will be expensive if they are to fully protect students.

Dr Kemp said the Government had accepted amendments which addressed these and a large number of other issues.

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Instead of having to file detailed financial statements with the Government every three months as originally proposed, the providers will now report annually, but with a provision for the Minister to obtain further information where he thinks this is warranted.

In addition, the industry will be able to establish arrangements to guarantee students' funds which will be much less costly than the Government's original Bill required.

The Opposition succeeded in having a sunset clause attached to the Bill which will see the legislation expire at the end of 1993.

■The Governments backdown represents a victory for common sense," said Dr Kemp.

Dr Kemp said that despite the amendments the legislation was still a very inadequate response by the Government to the lack of international competitiveness of the Australian industry.

The Industry Commission has made it dear that the real solutions lie in the improvement of the immigration procedures and in checking on visa compliance. The Government is still a long way from getting its act together on this key a re a

In light of the amendments which the Opposition has championed the industry has indicated that the Bill provides a workable framework for the industry to consolidate and achieve self-regulation, a process that is already under way.

The Government must now move immediately to address the further issues raised in the Industry Commission Draft Report

Inquiries: Norman Abjorensen

(06) 277 2036 or (06) 277 4151

(06) 286 4492 (ah)