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Thursday, 1 November 2012
Page: 8782

Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaParliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water) (13:11): I table an explanatory memorandum. The government opposes items 1 to 3 of schedule 1 in the following terms:

(1) Schedule 1, items 1 to 3, page 3 (lines 4 to 18), to be opposed.

The purpose of the amendment is to implement recommendations made by the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. This amendment removes the requirement in the bill that updated contact information for all international students to be given to the Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education within 14 days of a provider becoming aware of a change. This is in recognition of the recommendations made by the Senate committee and the concerns raised by the peak education bodies in their submissions to the committee. The government will instead propose amendments to the Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2001 to ensure that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship receives access to updated student contact details on a six-monthly basis through an automated mechanism or in the case of certain student course variations. The proposed amendment is in keeping with the spirit of the recommendations made by the Senate committee. The passage of this bill will ensure that student visa holders will no longer have their visas automatically cancelled and will provide for a fairer cancellation process. These measures also support the international education sector, which is one of Australia's largest export industries. I commend the bill to the Senate.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Pratt ): The question is that items 1 to 3, page 3 stand as printed.

Question negatived.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill reported with an amendment; report adopted.