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House of Representatives

Higher Education Legislation Amendment (2005 Measures No. 1) Bill 2005

Explanatory Memorandum

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education, Science and Training, the Honourable Dr Brendan Nelson MP)

Outline and financial impact statement

Outline

The Bill will amend the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to:

·
Set new maximum aggregate funding levels for the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (s30-5) to reflect:

·
Additional funding for 100 radiation therapy places for the years 2005-08;
·
Additional funding for 40 aged care nursing places for the years 2005-08; and
·
A technical adjustment to transfer funding to Other Grants for infrastructure at the Australian Maritime College for 2005.

·
Extend the eligibility for capital development pool funding under Other Grants to Table B providers (s41-10)
·
Set new maximum aggregate funding levels for Other Grants (s41-45) to reflect:

·
Additional funding for capital development at Charles Darwin University for the years 2005-07;
·
Additional funding for capital development for James Cook University for the years 2005-06;
·
Additional National Institute funding for the Australian National University to reflect supplementation for the years 2005-07; and
·
A technical adjustment to transfer funding from the Commonwealth Grants Scheme for infrastructure at the Australian Maritime College for 2005.

·
Allow exemptions from the tuition assurance requirements (TARs) for Higher Education Providers (HEPs) to be subject to conditions and to apply only for a specified period (ss16-31, 19-40).
·
Clarify that re-crediting of Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) and FEE-HELP balance occurs if a HEP who is subject to the TARs ceases to be able to provide a unit of study (ss16-25, 16-30, 16-31, 19-40, 79-1, 79-20, 110-5, 104-25, 140-42).

The Bill will amend the Higher Education Funding Act 1988 to:

·
Clarify that no refunds of voluntary HECS repayments will be made from 1 January 2005 (s61).
·
Make a technical correction to the definition of HECS debt to make it consistent with the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (s106Y).

The Bill will also amend the Maritime College Act 1978, to ensure that the Australian Maritime College complies with the National Governance Protocols (ss15, 17, 26, 27).

Financial impact

In relation to the Higher Education Support Act 2003, the Bill:

-
increases the overall appropriation by $48.726 million for the period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2008.


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