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Tuesday, 28 June 1994
Page: 2119

Senator ZAKHAROV —I present the report of the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training on the

Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration of Providers and Financial Regulations) Regulations, Statutory Rules 1994 Nos 146 and 154, together with the transcript of evidence and submissions received by the committee.

  Ordered that the report be printed.

Senator ZAKHAROV —I seek leave to move a motion.

  Leave granted.

Senator ZAKHAROV —I move:

  That the Senate take note of the report and documents.

I have pleasure in tabling the committee's report relating to the education services for overseas students regulation. The committee considered the ESOS legislation on and off since 1991. We believe that the finishing touches can now be put to what has proved to be a very complex and drawn out legislative exercise.

  This particular reference was given to the committee on the motion of Senator Hill without prior notice to the committee and with very strict parameters of time and procedure. I am pleased that we have been able to meet those requirements and I pay tribute to the secretary, Brenton Holmes and his staff, to officers of the department, ministerial staff, witnesses who appeared at very short notice and members of the committee, whose cooperation enabled us to meet today's deadline.

  The committee has recommended a deferral of consideration of Senator Bell's notice of disallowance of the proposed ESOS regulations to enable the development by the government of certain amendments to the ESOS act and to the regulations. The committee believes that amendments will be forthcoming which should satisfy the outstanding concerns which the committee explored at some length at last Friday's public hearing.

  I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the minister and the officers of DEET over the last three days in their concentrated discussions with industry representatives following our public hearing last Friday. I believe that the minister has put together a package of proposals which is consistent with the committee's views on the way in which legislation should operate. The amendments which we expect to be developed over the next few weeks should result in appropriate legislation which will serve to protect the interest of overseas students, while minimising the administrative and cost burdens to private providers in establishing tuition assurance schemes. I commend the report to the Senate.