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House of Representatives/Senate

Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1) Bill 2016

Explanatory Memorandum

(Circulated by the authority of the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion)

General Outline

Schedule 1 of this Bill amends the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to insert a new Part 2-2A providing for grants to higher education providers to assist Indigenous students.

These amendments are expected to allow universities to better respond to the needs of Indigenous students, and to improve the administration of assistance for Indigenous students.

Schedule 2 amends the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to allow the Secretary to be notified of Tax File Numbers (TFNs) for the purpose of administering student assistance under VET FEE-HELP. Schedule 2 also includes provisions providing for the Secretary to require the Commissioner to provide TFNs of students that had previously met the TFN requirements for HELP assistance. The Schedule also authorises the use and disclosure of information related to the administration of HELP debts, including TFNs, to assist in future administration of the HELP program. Additionally, Schedule 2 amends the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 to ensure that Commonwealth officers are able to use and disclose TFNs under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 for the purposes of administering VET FEE-HELP.

Financial impact statement


Statement of compatibility with human rights

The statement of compatibility with human rights appears at the end of this explanatory memorandum.

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