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Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Page: 9567


Senator BIRMINGHAM (South AustraliaMinister for Education and Training) (09:48): If I understand your question correctly, yes, providers are still receiving payments now as they do during the course of this year. What our legislation is saying is that, in relation to calculating a 12-month cap on payments, we are taking the first eight months of payments for 2015 and extrapolating that into a 12-month payment. Essentially, we will average those eight months into the average monthly payment across those eight months and multiply that by 12 to establish a 12-month cap. I have an important clarification there: it is not necessarily the actual payment transaction within those eight months; it is the data in applications lodged by providers in that eight-month period. In a sense, that is a time sequencing matter, probably, as much as anything, in that payments lag applications, so payments that would have been made in January may well apply to applications made in December or November or the like. So—whichever—in a sense, it is simply just applying what seems to be the administratively simplest means by which the department can quickly establish a 12-month per-provider cap for 2016, essentially using 2015 data, albeit using the first eight months of 2015 data.