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15        Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020

Limitation of debate : The time allotted for the consideration of the bill expired.

Question—That item 40 and Division 2 of Schedule 4 stand as printed—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 28

Senators—

Abetz

Cormann

Hume

Reynolds

Antic

Davey

McKenzie

Roberts

Askew

Duniam

McLachlan

Ruston

Birmingham

Fierravanti-Wells

McMahon

Ryan

Bragg

Griff

Molan

Scarr

Chandler

Hanson

O’Sullivan

Smith, Dean*

Colbeck

Hughes

Rennick

Stoker

 

 

NOES, 26

Senators—

Ayres

Gallagher

McKim

Smith, Marielle

Brown

Green

Patrick

Sterle

Carr

Hanson-Young

Polley

Thorpe

Chisholm

Lambie

Pratt

Urquhart*

Dodson

Lines

Sheldon

Waters

Farrell

McAllister

Siewert

Watt

Faruqi

McCarthy

 

* Tellers

Item and Division agreed to.

Explanatory memoranda : The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment (Senator Birmingham) tabled the following documents:

Addendum to the explanatory memorandum relating to the bill.

Supplementary explanatory memoranda [2] relating to the government amendments to be moved to the bill.

The following amendments and request for an amendment circulated by the Government were considered:

Amendments :

Clause 2, page 2 (after table item 8), insert:

8A.  Schedule 4A

1 January 2021.

1 January 2021

Clause 2, page 2 (before table item 9), insert:

8B.  Schedule 4B

1 January 2022.

1 January 2022

Schedule 1, item 14, page 15 (table item 5), omit “$13,500”, substitute “$13,250”.

Page 46 (before line 1), before Schedule 5, insert:

Schedule 4B Student learning entitlement

Higher Education Support Act 2003

1  At the end of section 3-10

Add:

Chapter 3 also deals with a person’s Student Learning Entitlement.

2  After paragraph 36-10(1)(c)

Insert:

                      (d)  if the course of study is a course of study other than an * enabling course—the unit is * covered by the person’s Student Learning Entitlement; and

3  At the end of subsection 36-20(3)

Add:

                 ; or (c)  section 36-24BA applies in relation to the provider in relation to the unit.

4  After section 36-24B

Insert:

36-24BA  Providers to repay amounts—person’s SLE amount re-credited in special circumstances

   (1)  This section applies if:

                       (a)  a person has been enrolled as a * Commonwealth supported student with a higher education provider in a unit of study; and

                      (b)  the person’s * SLE amount has been re-credited under section 79-1 with an amount equal to the * EFTSL value of the unit.

   (2)  The provider must:

                       (a)  pay to the person an amount equal to the payment, or the sum of the payments, that the person made in relation to the person’s * student contribution amount for the unit; and

                      (b)  pay to the Commonwealth an amount equal to any * HECS-HELP assistance to which the person was entitled for the unit.

5  Section 65-1

Omit :

This Chapter provides for 4 kinds of assistance that the Commonwealth provides to students.

Note:       The Commonwealth meets all or part of the higher education costs of students who are enrolled in places funded under Part 2-2.

substitute:

This Chapter deals with a person’s Student Learning Entitlement and provides for 4 kinds of assistance that the Commonwealth provides to students.

Note:       The Commonwealth meets all or part of the higher education costs of students who are enrolled in places funded under Part 2-2.

A person may be entitled to HECS-HELP assistance for a unit of study for which the person is a Commonwealth supported student if, among other things, the unit is covered by the person’s Student Learning Entitlement. Part 3-1 deals with a person’s Student Learning Entitlement.

6  Before Part 3-2

Insert:

Part 3-1 Student Learning Entitlement

Division 70 Introduction

70-1   What this Part is about

A person may be entitled to HECS-HELP assistance for a unit of study for which the person is a Commonwealth supported student if, among other things, the unit is covered by the person’s Student Learning Entitlement.

Broadly speaking, a person will start with an S LE amount that is equivalent to 7 years of full-time study. However, the person’s SLE amount may be added to for the purposes of certain courses of study or in certain circumstances.

A person’s SLE amount is reduced as the person undertakes units of study as a Commonwealth supported student. The person’s SLE amount may also be re-credited in certain circumstances.

70-5   The Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines

          * Student Learning Entitlement is also dealt with in the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines. The provisions of this Part indicate when a particular matter is or may be dealt with in these Guidelines.

Note:         The Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines are made by the Minister under section 238-10.

Division 73 Student Learning Entitlement and SLE amount

73-1   Student Learning Entitlement and SLE amount

   (1)  A person’s Student Learning Entitlement is an entitlement that consists of:

                       (a)  * ordinary SLE that the person has; and

                      (b)  any * additional SLE that the person has; and

                       (c)  any * lifelong SLE that the person has.

   (2)  A person’s SLE amount at a particular time is the sum of the following amounts:

                       (a)  the amount of * ordinary SLE that the person has under subsection 73-5(3);

                      (b)  the amount of any * additional SLE that the person has under subsection 73-10(3);

                       (c)  the amount of any * lifelong SLE that the person has under subsection 73-15(3);

taking into account any reduction that has occurred before that time under Division 76 and any re-crediting that has occurred before that time under amount Division 79.

73-5   Ordinary SLE

Persons who have ordinary SLE

   (1)  If a person is an * eligible person on 1 January 2022, the person has, on that day, ordinary SLE.

   (2)  If a person becomes (by birth or otherwise) an * eligible person on a day after 1 January 2022, the person has, on the earliest such day, ordinary SLE.

Amount of ordinary SLE

   (3)  The amount of * ordinary SLE that the person has on the day referred to in subsection (1) or (2) (as the case may be) is an amount equal to 7 * EFTSL.

Eligible person

   (4)  An eligible person is:

                       (a)  an Australian citizen; or

                      (b)  a citizen of New Zealand; or

                       (c)  a * permanent visa holder.

73-10   Additional SLE

   (1)  A person has additional SLE if:

                       (a)  the person is enrolled in a * course of study with a higher education provider; and

                      (b)  the course is specified, or is a course of a kind specified, in the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines for the purposes of this paragraph; and

                       (c)  the person meets any other requirements specified in the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines.

   (2)  The person has * additional SLE on the day that the person enrols in the * course of study.

   (3)  The amount of * additional SLE that the person has on that day is an amount (expressed in * EFTSL) worked out in accordance with the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines.

73-15   Lifelong SLE

   (1)  A person has lifelong SLE in the circumstances specified in the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines.

   (2)  The person has * lifelong SLE on the day specified in the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines.

   (3)  The amount of * lifelong SLE that a person has on that day is an amount (expressed in * EFTSL) worked out in accordance with the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines.

73-20   Student Learning Entitlement is not transferable

          A person’s * Student Learning Entitlement cannot be transferred to, or used by, another person.

73-25   Ceasing to be an eligible person

   (1)  A person ceases to have * Student Learning Entitlement if the person ceases to be an * eligible person.

   (2)  If a person who ceased to be an * eligible person at a particular time (the cessation time ) becomes an eligible person again at a later time, the person has, at that later time, the same * SLE amount (if any) that the person had at the cessation time.

Division 76 Reduction of a person’s SLE amount

76-1   Reduction of a person’s SLE amount

   (1)  A higher education provider must, on the * Secretary’s behalf, reduce a person’s * SLE amount at a particular time if:

                       (a)  the person enrolled in a unit of study as part of a * course of study with the provider; and

                      (b)  at the end of the * census date for the unit, the person remained so enrolled; and

                       (c)  the person is a * Commonwealth supported student in relation to the unit; and

                      (d)  the unit is not:

                                     (i)  an * ineligible work experience unit for the person; or

                                    (ii)  a * replacement unit; and

                       (e)  the person has, on or before the census date for the unit, completed, signed and given to an * appropriate officer of the provider a * request for Commonwealth assistance in relation to:

                                     (i)  the unit; or

                                    (ii)  where the course of study of which the unit forms a part is undertaken with the provider—the course of study.

Note:         A person’s SLE amount must be re-credited in certain circumstances: see Division 79.

   (2)  The amount of the reduction is an amount equal to the * EFTSL value of the unit of study.

   (3)  The reduction takes effect immediately after the * census date for the unit of study.

   (4)  If a higher education provider reduces a person’s * SLE amount at a particular time under subsection (1), the provider must, in accordance with the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines and on the * Secretary’s behalf, reduce any one or more of the following amounts to take account of the reduction under that subsection:

                       (a)  an amount of * ordinary SLE (if any) that the person has at that time;

                      (b)  an amount of * additional SLE (if any) that the person has at that time;

                       (c)  an amount of * lifelong SLE (if any) that the person has at that time.

   (5)  If a higher education provider is unable to act for the purposes of subsection (1) or (4), the * Secretary may act as if any one or more of the references in that subsection to the provider were a reference to the Secretary.

Division 79 Re-crediting a person’s SLE amount

Subdivision 79-A Re-crediting a person’s SLE amount in special circumstances

79-1   Re-crediting a person’s SLE amount if special circumstances apply to the person

   (1)  A higher education provider must, on the * Secretary’s behalf, re-credit a person’s * SLE amount at a particular time with an amount equal to the * EFTSL value of a unit of study if:

                       (a)  the person has been enrolled in the unit with the provider; and

                      (b)  the unit would, if completed, form part of a * course of study undertaken with that provider or another higher education provider; and

                       (c)  the unit is not:

                                     (i)  an * ineligible work experience unit for the person; or

                                    (ii)  a * replacement unit; and

                      (d)  the person has not completed the requirements for the unit during the period during which the person undertook, or was to undertake, the unit; and

                       (e)  one or more * up-front payments have been made in relation to the unit and the amount of that payment, or the sum of those payments, is equal to 90% of the person’s * student contribution amount for the unit; and

                       (f)  the provider is satisfied that special circumstances apply to the person (see section 79-5); and

                      (g)  the person applies, in writing, to the provider for the re-crediting of the person’s SLE amount; and

                      (h)  either:

                                     (i)  the application is made before the end of the application period for the application under section 79-10; or

                                    (ii)  the provider waives the requirement that the application be made before the end of that period on the ground that it would not be, or was not, possible for the application to be made before the end of that period.

Note:         It is a condition of a grant to the provider under Part 2-2 that the provider repay certain amounts relating to the unit: see section 36-24BA.

   (2)  If a higher education provider re-credits a person’s * SLE amount at a particular time under subsection (1), the provider must, in accordance with the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines and on the * Secretary’s behalf, re-credit any one or more of the following amounts to take account of the re-credit under that subsection:

                       (a)  an amount of * ordinary SLE (if any) that the person has at that time;

                      (b)  an amount of * additional SLE (if any) that the person has at that time;

                       (c)  an amount of * lifelong SLE (if any) that the person has at that time.

Note:         A refusal to re-credit one or more of those amounts is reviewable under Part 5-7.

   (3)  If a higher education provider is unable to act for any one or more of the purposes of subsection (1) or (2), or section 79-5, 79-10 or 79-15, the * Secretary may act as if any one or more of the references in those provisions to the provider were a reference to the Secretary.

79-5   Special circumstances

   (1)  For the purposes of paragraph 79-1(1)(f), special circumstances apply to a person who made an application under paragraph 79-1(1)(g) for the re-crediting of the person’s * SLE amount if, and only if, the higher education provider receiving the application is satisfied that circumstances apply to the person that:

                       (a)  are beyond the person’s control; and

                      (b)  do not make their full impact on the person until on or after the * census date for the unit of study in question; and

                       (c)  make it impracticable for the person to complete the requirements for the unit in the period during which the person undertook, or was to undertake, the unit.

   (2)  The Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines may specify circumstances in which a higher education provider will be satisfied of a matter referred to in paragraph (1)(a), (b) or (c). A decision of a higher education provider under subsection (1) must be in accordance with any such guidelines.

79-10   Application period

   (1)  If:

                       (a)  the person who applied under paragraph 79-1(1)(g) for the re-crediting of the person’s * SLE amount with an amount equal to the * EFTSL value of a unit of study has withdrawn the person’s enrolment in the unit with a higher education provider; and

                      (b)  the provider gives notice to the person that the withdrawal has taken effect;

the application period for the application is the period of 12 months after the day specified in the notice as the day the withdrawal takes effect.

   (2)  If subsection (1) does not apply, the application period for an application made under paragraph 79-1(1)(g) is the period of 12 months after the end of the period during which the applicant undertook, or was to undertake, the unit of study.

79-15   Dealing with applications

   (1)  If:

                       (a)  an application is made to a higher education provider under paragraph 79-1(1)(g) before the end of the application period for the application under section 79-10; or

                      (b)  a higher education provider waives the requirement that an application made to the provider under that paragraph be made before the end of that period on the ground that it would not be, or was not, possible for the application to be made before the end of that period;

the provider must, as soon as practicable, consider the application and notify the applicant of the decision on the application.

   (2)  The notice must include a statement of the reasons for the decision.

Note:         Refusals of applications are reviewable under Part 5-7.

Subdivision 79-B Re-crediting a person’s SLE amount if the person’s HELP balance is re-credited

79-20   Re-crediting a person’s SLE amount if the person’s HELP balance is re-credited

   (1)  A higher education provider must, on the * Secretary’s behalf, re-credit a person’s * SLE amount at a particular time with an amount equal to the * EFTSL value of a unit of study if the person’s * HELP balance is re-credited under any of the following provisions with an amount equal to the amount of * HECS-HELP assistance that the person received for the unit of study:

                       (a)  subsection 97-25(2) (which deals with the main case of re-crediting a person’s HELP balance);

                      (b)  subsection 97-27(1) (which deals with the re-crediting of a person’s HELP balance if the person does not have a tax file number);

                       (c)  subsection 97-42(1) (which deals with the re-crediting of a person’s HELP balance if a higher education provider defaults);

                      (d)  subsection 97-45(1) (which deals with the re-crediting of a person’s HELP balance if a higher education provider completes a * request for Commonwealth assistance);

                       (e)  subsection 97-50(1) (which deals with the re-crediting of a person’s HELP balance if the person was not entitled to assistance).

   (2)  If a higher education provider re-credits a person’s * SLE amount at a particular time under subsection (1), the provider must, in accordance with the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines and on the * Secretary’s behalf, re-credit any one or more of the following amounts to take account of the re-credit under that subsection:

                       (a)  an amount of * ordinary SLE (if any) that the person has at that time;

                      (b)  an amount of * additional SLE (if any) that the person has at that time;

                       (c)  an amount of * lifelong SLE (if any) that the person has at that time.

   (3)  If a higher education provider is unable to act for the purposes of subsection (1) or (2), the * Secretary may act as if any one or more of the references in that subsection to the provider were a reference to the Secretary.

Division 82 Unit of study covered by a person’s Student Learning Entitlement

82-1   Unit of study covered by a person’s Student Learning Entitlement—person’s SLE amount not exceeded at enrolment

Person enrolled in one unit of study only

   (1)  A unit of study is covered by a person’s Student Learning Entitlement if:

                       (a)  the person enrolled in the unit (the relevant unit ) as a part of a * course of study with a higher education provider; and

                      (b)  at the time of that enrolment, the person had not enrolled in any other units of study as a part of that course, or as a part of another course of study, with that provider or with another higher education provider that have * census dates that will occur after that time; and

                       (c)  the * EFTSL value of the relevant unit does not exceed the person’s * SLE amount as at that time; and

                      (d)  if:

                                     (i)  the person’s SLE amount as at that time includes an amount of * additional SLE in relation to a particular course of study; and

                                    (ii)  the EFTSL value of the relevant unit exceeds the amount worked out by subtracting that amount of additional SLE from the person’s SLE amount as at that time;

                            the person enrolled in the relevant unit as a part of that particular course of study.

Person enrolled in more than one unit of study

   (2)  A unit of study is covered by a person’s Student Learning Entitlement if:

                       (a)  the person enrolled in the unit (the relevant unit ) as a part of a * course of study with a higher education provider; and

                      (b)  at the time of that enrolment, the person had also enrolled in one or more other units of study as a part of that course, or as a part of another course of study, with that provider or with another higher education provider; and

                       (c)  those other units have * census dates that will occur after that time; and

                      (d)  the person is a * Commonwealth supported student in relation to each of those other units; and

                       (e)  the sum of the following does not exceed the person’s * SLE amount as at that time:

                                     (i)  the * EFTSL value of the relevant unit;

                                    (ii)  the sum of the EFTSL values of each of those other units; and

                       (f)  if:

                                     (i)  the person’s SLE amount as at that time includes an amount of * additional SLE in relation to a particular course of study; and

                                    (ii)  the EFTSL value of the relevant unit exceeds the amount worked out by subtracting that amount of additional SLE from the person’s SLE amount as at that time;

                            the person enrolled in the relevant unit as a part of that particular course of study.

82-5   Unit of study covered by a person’s Student Learning Entitlement—person’s SLE amount exceeded at enrolment

   (1)  This section applies if:

                       (a)  the person enrolled in unit of study (the relevant unit ) as a part of a * course of study with a higher education provider (the relevant provider ); and

                      (b)  at the time of that enrolment (the enrolment time ), the person had also enrolled in one or more other units of study as a part of that course, or as a part of another course of study, with the relevant provider or with another higher education provider; and

                       (c)  those other units have * census dates that will occur after the enrolment time; and

                      (d)  the person is a * Commonwealth supported student in relation to each of those other units; and

                       (e)  the sum of the following exceeds the person’s * SLE amount as at the enrolment time:

                                     (i)  the * EFTSL value of the relevant unit;

                                    (ii)  the sum of the EFTSL values of each of those other units.

   (2)  The relevant unit is covered by a person’s Student Learning Entitlement if:

                       (a)  the person notifies an * appropriate officer of the relevant provider that the person does not wish to be a * Commonwealth supported student in relation to one or more of those other units of study (the excluded units ); and

                      (b)  the sum of the following does not exceed the person’s * SLE amount as at the enrolment time:

                                     (i)  the * EFTSL value of the relevant unit;

                                    (ii)  the sum of the EFTSL values of each of those other units that are not excluded units; and

                       (c)  if:

                                     (i)  the person’s SLE amount as at that time includes an amount of * additional SLE in relation to a particular course of study; and

                                    (ii)  the EFTSL value of the relevant unit exceeds the amount worked out by subtracting that amount of additional SLE from the person’s SLE amount as at that time;

                            the person enrolled in the relevant unit as a part of that particular course of study.

   (3)  A notice under paragraph (2)(a) must be given:

                       (a)  in writing; and

                      (b)  on or before the * census date for the relevant unit.

7  Subsection 169-5(4)

After “this Act”, insert “(including the person’s * Student Learning Entitlement)”.

8  At the end of subsection 169-10(5)

Add “(including the person’s * Student Learning Entitlement)”.

9  Section 206-1 (before table item 1B)

Insert:

1BA

Refusal to re-credit a person’s * SLE amount with an amount equal to the * EFTSL value of a unit of study

subsection 79-1(1)

(a) the higher education provider with whom the student is enrolled in the unit; or

(b) if the * Secretary made the decision to refuse the re-crediting—the Secretary

1BB

Refusal to re-credit one or more of the amounts referred to in paragraphs 79-1(2)(a), (b) and (c) to take account of a re-credit of a person’s * SLE amount under subsection 79-1(1)

subsection 79-1(2)

(a) the higher education provider with whom the student is enrolled in the unit; or

(b) if the * Secretary made the decision to refuse the re-crediting—the Secretary

10  Section 206-1 (note 1)

Before “1B,”, insert “1BA, 1BB,”.

11  Subsection 238-10(1) (after table item 8A)

Insert:

10

Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines

Part 3-1

12  Subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1

Insert:

additional SLE means additional SLE that a person has under subsection 73-10(1).

covered by a person’s Student Learning Entitlement has the meaning given by subsections 82-1(1) and (2) and 82-5(2).

eligible person has the meaning given by subsection 73-5(4).

lifelong SLE means lifelong SLE that a person has under subsection 73-15(1).

ordinary SLE means ordinary SLE that a person has under subsection 73-5(1) or (2).

SLE amount has the meaning given by subsection 73-1(2).

Student Learning Entitlement has the meaning given by subsection 73-1(1).

13  Application of amendments

(1)   The amendments of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 made by items 2, 3 and 4 of this Schedule apply in relation to a unit of study that has a census date that is on or after 1 January 2022 (whether the unit of study is part of a course of study commenced before, on or after that day).

(2)   Divisions 76, 79 and 82 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 , as inserted by this Schedule, apply in relation to a unit of study that has a census date that is on or after 1 January 2022 (whether the unit of study is part of a course of study commenced before, on or after that day).

Schedule 5, page 48 (after line 6), after item 9, insert:

9A  Subparagraph 137-10(2)(b)(i)

Omit “30 September 2020”, substitute “30 June 2021”.

9B  After subparagraph 137-10(2)(b)(i)

Insert:

                                   (ia)  for a unit of study with a census date on or after 1 July 2021—an amount equal to 120% of the loan; or

Request :

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the following amendment:

Page 45 (after line 31), after Schedule 4, insert:

Schedule 4A Up-front payment discount

Higher Education Support Act 2003

1  At the end of Subdivision 36-D

Add:

36-50   Provider must not accept up-front payments of more than 90% of student contribution amounts

          A higher education provider must not accept, from a person who:

                       (a)  is enrolled in a unit of study with the provider; and

                      (b)  is entitled to * HECS -HELP assistance for the unit;

* up-front payments in relation to the unit totalling more than 90% of the person’s * student contribution amount for the unit.

Note:         For entitlement to HECS-HELP assistance: see Division 90.

2  Paragraph 90-1(f)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                       (f)  the student either:

                                     (i)  * meets the tax file number requirements (see section 187-1); or

                                    (ii)  pays, as one or more * up-front payments in relation to the unit, 90% of the student’s * student contribution amount for the unit; and

3  Subsection 93-15(1)

Omit “all or”.

4  At the end of section 93-15

Add:

   (3)  A payment made in relation to a unit of study for which a person is liable to pay the person’s * student contribution amount is not an up-front payment in relation to the unit to the extent that:

                       (a)  the payment; or

                      (b)  if other such payments have already been made in relation to the unit—the sum of the payment and all of those other payments;

exceeds 90% of the person’s * student contribution amount for the unit.

Note 1:      For when the Commonwealth pays one-ninth of the up-front payments made in relation a unit of study, see sections 96-2 and 96-3.

Note 2:      It is a condition of grants under Part 2-2 that a higher education provider not accept, from a student who is entitled to HECS-HELP assistance for a unit of study, up-front payments in relation the unit totalling more than 90% of a student’s student contribution amount for the unit: see section 36-50.

5  Section 96-1 (at the end of the heading)

Add “ —no upfront payment of student contribution amount ”.

6  Section 96-1

After “education provider”, insert “and no * up-front payments are made in relation to the unit”.

7  After section 96-1

Insert:

96-2   Payments to higher education providers—partial up-front payment of student contribution amount

Up-front payments made for one unit of study only

   (1)  If:

                       (a)  a student is entitled to an amount of * HECS-HELP assistance for a unit of study (the relevant unit ) in which the student is enrolled with a higher education provider; and

                      (b)  one or more * up-front payments have been made in relation to the relevant unit; and

                       (c)  both of the following apply:

                                     (i)  the amount of that up-front payment, or the sum of those up-front payments, is less than 90% of the student’s * student contribution amount for the relevant unit;

                                    (ii)  the amount of that up-front payment, or the sum of those up-front payments, is $500 or more; and

                      (d)  either:

                                     (i)  the student is not enrolled with a provider as a * Commonwealth supported student in relation to any other units of study that have the same * census date as the relevant unit; or

                                    (ii)  if the student is so enrolled in relation to one or more such other units of study, no up-front payments have been made for any of those units;

the Commonwealth must pay the amount of HECS-HELP assistance for the relevant unit in accordance with subsections (3) and (4).

Up-front payments made for more than one unit of study

   (2)  If:

                       (a)  a student is entitled to an amount of * HECS-HELP assistance for a unit of study (the relevant unit ) in which the student is enrolled with a higher education provider; and

                      (b)  one or more * up-front payments have been made in relation to the relevant unit; and

                       (c)  the student is enrolled with the provider as a * Commonwealth supported student in relation to one or more other units of study that have the same * census date as the relevant unit; and

                      (d)  one or more up-front payments have been made in relation to one or more of those other units; and

                       (e)  both of the following apply:

                                     (i)  the sum of the up-front payments made in relation to the relevant unit and those other units is less than 90% of the sum of the student’s * student contribution amounts for the relevant unit and those other units;

                                    (ii)  the sum of the up-front payments made in relation to the relevant unit and those other units is $500 or more;

the Commonwealth must pay the amount of HECS-HELP assistance for the relevant unit in accordance with subsections (3) and (4).

Payment of loan amount

   (3)  The Commonwealth must:

                       (a)  as a benefit to the student, lend to the student an amount equal to the difference between the amount of * HECS-HELP assistance for the relevant unit and the * HECS-HELP discount for the relevant unit; and

                      (b)  pay to the provider the amount lent in discharge of that amount of the student’s liability to pay the student’s * student contribution amount for the relevant unit.

Payment of discount amount

   (4)  The Commonwealth must, as a benefit to the student, pay to the provider an amount equal to the * HECS-HELP discount for the relevant unit in discharge of that amount of the student’s liability to pay the student’s * student contribution amount for the relevant unit.

HECS-HELP discount

   (5)  The HECS-HELP discount for a unit of study is an amount equal to one-ninth of the * up-front payment, or the sum of all of the up-front payments made, in relation to the unit.

Example:   Robert is required to pay a student contribution amount for a unit of study of $2,745 by 31 January 2021, and makes an up-front payment in relation to the unit of $900 on 20 January 2021.

                  Robert is entitled to HECS-HELP assistance for the unit of $1,845 ($2,745 minus $900), which the Commonwealth must pay to the higher education provider.

                  The up-front payment in relation to the unit exceeded $500 so there is a HECS-HELP discount of $100 (one-ninth of $900). The Commonwealth lends to Robert the remainder of the HECS-HELP assistance in relation to the unit, an amount of $1,745 ($1,845 minus $100).

96-3   Payments to higher education providers—full up-front payment of student contribution amount

          If:

                       (a)  a student is entitled to an amount of * HECS-HELP assistance for a unit of study in which the student is enrolled with a higher education provider; and

                      (b)  one or more * up-front payments have been made in relation the unit; and

                       (c)  the amount of that up-front payment, or the sum of those up-front payments, is equal to 90% of the student’s * student contribution amount for the unit;

the Commonwealth must, as a benefit to the student, pay to the provider the amount of HECS-HELP assistance for the unit in discharge of that amount of the student’s liability to pay the student’s student contribution amount for the unit.

Note:         The student does not incur a HECS-HELP debt in relation to the amount of HECS-HELP assistance paid by the Commonwealth to the provider under this section.

8  Subsection 137-5(1)

After “section 96-1”, insert “or 96-2”.

9  Paragraph 193-1(5)(b)

Omit “for the unit have been made totalling 100%”, substitute “in relation to the unit have been made totalling 90%”.

10  Paragraph 193-5(1)(d)

After “to the unit,”, insert “90% of”.

11  Subclause 1(1) of Schedule 1

Insert:

HECS-HELP discount has the meaning given by subsection 96-2(5).

12  Application of amendments

The amendments made by this Schedule apply in relation to an up-front payment made in relation to a unit of study that has a census date on or after 1 January 2021.

Question—That the amendments and request for an amendment be agreed to—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 29

Senators—

Abetz

Davey

Hume

Roberts

Antic

Duniam

McKenzie

Ruston

Askew

Fierravanti-Wells

McLachlan

Ryan

Birmingham

Griff

Molan

Scarr

Bragg

Hanson

O’Sullivan

Seselja

Chandler

Henderson

Rennick

Smith, Dean*

Colbeck

Hughes

Reynolds

Stoker

Cormann

 

 

 

NOES, 26

Senators—

Ayres

Gallagher

McKim

Smith, Marielle

Brown

Green

Patrick

Sterle

Carr

Hanson-Young

Polley

Thorpe

Chisholm

Lambie

Pratt

Urquhart*

Dodson

Lines

Sheldon

Waters

Farrell

McAllister

Siewert

Watt

Faruqi

McCarthy

 

* Tellers

Question agreed to.

Question—That item 16 of Schedule 5 stand as printed—put and negatived.

The following amendments circulated by the Government were agreed to:

Schedule 4, page 44 (before line 19), before item 40, insert:

39A  Subparagraph 19-45(1)(c)(i)

Repeal the subparagraph, substitute:

                                     (i)  under subsection 36-12(2), paragraph 36-13(2)(b) or subsection 36-20(1); or

39B  Paragraph 19-45(4)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                       (a)  under subsection 36-12(2), paragraph 36-13(2)(b) or subsection 36-20(1); or

39C  Paragraph 19-50(1)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                       (a)  under subsection 36-12(2), paragraph 36-13(2)(b) or subsection 36-20(1); or

39D  Paragraph 19-50(2)(c)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                       (c)  under subsection 36-12(2), paragraph 36-13(2)(b) or subsection 36-20(1)); or

39E  Subsection 19-60(1)

Omit “subsection 36-12(2) or 36-20(1)”, insert “subsection 36-12(2), paragraph 36-13(2)(b), subsection 36-20(1) or”.

Schedule 4, item 40, page 45 (lines 16 to 18), omit paragraph 36-13(2)(b), substitute:

                      (b)  in respect of which the provider is satisfied that special circumstances apply in relation to the student (see subsection (3)).

Schedule 4, item 40, page 45 (after line 18), at the end of section 36-13, add:

   (3)  For the purposes of paragraph (2)(b), special circumstances apply in relation to the student in respect of a unit of study if, and only if, the higher education provider is satisfied that circumstances apply in relation to the student that:

                       (a)  are beyond the student’s control; and

                      (b)  do not make their full impact on the student until on or after the * census date for the unit of study; and

                       (c)  make it impracticable for the student to complete the requirements for the unit during the period during which the student undertook, or was to undertake, the unit.

   (4)  The Administration Guidelines may specify circumstances in which a higher education provider will be satisfied of a matter referred to in paragraph (3)(a) or (b).

   (5)  A higher education provider will be satisfied of the matter referred to in paragraph (3)(c) in relation to a unit of study if the provider is satisfied that any of the following circumstances apply in relation to a student:

                       (a)  the student’s medical condition changed or worsened to such an extent that the student was unable to complete the requirements for the unit;

                      (b)  a member of the student’s family died and it is unreasonable to expect the student to have completed the requirements for the unit;

                       (c)  a member of the student’s family had a serious medical condition and it is unreasonable to expect the student to have completed the requirements for the unit;

                      (d)  financial difficulties experienced by the student, or a member of the student’s family, are such that it is unreasonable to expect the student to have completed the requirements for the unit;

                       (e)  the student’s employment status or arrangements changed such that the student was unable to complete the requirements for the unit;

                       (f)  changes made in relation to the unit by the provider, or another higher education provider, disadvantaged the student;

                      (g)  it is unreasonable to expect the student to have completed the requirements for the unit because of a natural disaster, or other emergency, that occurred in Australia;

                      (h)  any other circumstances that the provider considers relevant;

                       (i)  any other circumstances specified in the Administration Guidelines for the purposes of this paragraph.

   (6)  Without limiting paragraph (5)(i), the Administration Guidelines may specify circumstances relating to a matter mentioned in subsection (5).

   (7)  If the Administration Guidelines specify circumstances for the purposes of subsection (4) or paragraph (5)(i), a decision of a higher education provider under this section must be in accordance with those guidelines.

   (8)  If a higher education provider is unable to act for the purposes of this section (other than subsection (1)), the * Secretary may act as if one or more references in this section (other than subsection (1)) to a higher education provider were a reference to the Secretary.

Schedule 4, Division 1 of Part 2, page 45 (before line 19), at the end of the Division, add:

40A  Section 206-1 (before item 1A)

Insert:

1AE

A decision that special circumstances do not apply in relation to a person

paragraph 36-13(2)(b)

(a) the higher education provider with whom the student is enrolled in the unit; or

(b) if the * Secretary made the decision that special circumstances do not apply—the Secretary

40B  Subsection 209-1(2) (note 1)

Omit “subsection 36-12(2) or 36-20(1)”, insert “subsection 36-12(2), paragraph 36-13(2)(b), subsection 36-20(1)”.

40C  Paragraph 238-1(2)(a)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                       (a)  under subsection 36-12(2), paragraph 36-13(2)(b) or subsection 36-20(1); or

40D  Subsection 238-10(1) (table item 1)

Before “section 36-21;”, insert “section 36-13;”.

Question—That the remaining stages of this bill be agreed to subject to a request—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 28

Senators—

Abetz

Cormann

McKenzie

Roberts

Antic

Davey

McLachlan

Ruston

Askew

Duniam

McMahon

Ryan

Birmingham

Fierravanti-Wells

Molan

Scarr

Bragg

Griff

O’Sullivan

Seselja

Chandler

Hughes

Rennick

Smith, Dean*

Colbeck

Hume

Reynolds

Stoker

 

 

NOES, 26

Senators—

Ayres

Gallagher

O’Neill

Smith, Marielle

Brown

Green

Patrick

Sterle

Carr

Hanson-Young

Polley

Thorpe

Chisholm

Lambie

Pratt

Urquhart*

Dodson

Lines

Sheldon

Waters

Farrell

McCarthy

Siewert

Watt

Faruqi

McKim

 

* Tellers

Question agreed to.