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Thursday, 15 September 2011
Page: 6210

Senator SHERRY (TasmaniaMinister Assisting on Deregulation and Public Sector Superannuation, Minister for Small Business and Minister Assisting the Minister for Tourism) (13:23): As I foreshadowed, I will be brief in my remarks. The government thanks Senator Xenophon for moving his amendment and expressing his views, but the government on this occasion does not believe the changes that he is presenting can be supported. The government believes that the changes made in April 2011 through the first phase of legislative changes to ESOS address the core issues as proposed by Senator Xenophon.

Recommendation 18 of the Baird review addressed the issue of the refund of non-course costs. In responding to that recommendation, changes were made so that those providers assessed by regulators as having a higher level of risk may have conditions put on their registration. These conditions would allow regulators to prevent providers from collecting non-course moneys from international students—for example, prepaid homestay fees. For these reasons, we do not support Senator Xenophon's amendment.