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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11521

Mr HARTSUYKER (CowperMinister for Vocational Education and Skills and Deputy Leader of the House) (12:02): Under the Education Services for Overseas Students Amendment (Streamlining Regulation) Bill 2015, the Tuition Protection Service will be strengthened by enhancing the powers of its director. The TPS ensures international student's investments in their education is protected. These bills will amend the legislation to ensure that the TPS operates more efficiently and has a more direct role in supporting the quality and integrity of international education. Powers will now be vested directly in the TPS director to allow him or her to issue production notices. The TPS director will also be able to make a recommendation to an ESOS agency about the enforcement action that should be taken against an educational institution. These changes are about supporting quality, unambiguously to allow the regulators to take action quickly against poor practices in international education.

In conclusion, the changes to the ESOS Act will significantly reduce complexity and cut red tape without compromising Australia's strong student protections and our reputation as a world-class destination for international students. Extensive consultation on these reforms has reiterated the strong support from the international education sector and the benefits that will flow to providers and students. I thank the international education sector for their genuine and constructive commitment to improving the ESOS framework. Claims by the opposition and the National Tertiary Education Union that the government's legislative changes will water down international students' protections are wrong. The member for Kingston, in her speech, recognised that the measures have the support of many parts of the sector and will reduce unnecessary red tape. I would like to thank members who spoke on the measures in support of the government's plan, which will lead to a better and stronger international education sector and enhance the reputation of our country as a destination for students.

Question agreed to, Mr Wilkie dissenting.

Bill read a second time.