Bills Digest 106 1995-96 Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration of Providers and Financial Regulation) Amendment Bill (No. 1) 1996


Numerical Index | Alphabetical Index

WARNING:
This Digest is prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest was available from 24 June 1996

CONTENTS

Passage History

Date Introduced: 23 May 1996
House: Senate
Portfolio: Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs
Commencement: Royal Assent

Purpose

Extend the sunset date of the Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration of Providers and Financial Regulation) Act 1991 from 1 January 1997 to 1 January 1999.

Background

The Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration of Providers and Financial Regulation) Act 1991(the Principal Act) was passed following the collapse of a number of private education providers who had offered courses to overseas students, principally from the Peoples Republic of China, accepted a deposit of payment of full fees and closed before the courses were completed. Funds paid by students were generally not held in separate accounts and many were lost on the collapse of the businesses.

The Principal Act was passed to provide greater protection for overseas students, principally through the requirement that education providers be registered and fees paid by overseas students be placed into trust funds that may only be accessed in accordance with the regulations.

Sunset Clause

Section 20 of the Principal Act provides that the Principal Act, unless repealed sooner, shall cease to be in force on 1 January 1997. The issue of the Principal Act's sunset clause has been examined on two occasions by the Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training.

In its December 1992 report, Inquiry into the Operation of the Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration of Providers and Financial Regulation) Act 1991, the Committee recommended that section 20 of the Principal Act be amended to extend the sunset clause to 1 January 1995. The Committee said:

Given the need for a stable policy environment, the Committee concludes that the Government should announce a delay in the date of effect of the sunset clause, s. 20 of the ESOS Act, for a further year. The need for an extension is reinforced by difficulties in the implementation of the Act and delays at the State level in legislating to cover this area. This extension would provide sufficient time for the States to ensure that an appropriate regulatory environment was in place.(1)

In its August 1993 report, the Committee recommended that the Principal Act be amended to extend the sunset clause to 1 January 1997. The Committee said:

Delays by the States in passing complementary legislation when taken with the need for a strong statement of the Government's resolve to prevent activities which would damage Australia's reputation overseas provides a strong case for extending of the sunset clause to 1 January 1997.(2)

An amendment contained in the Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration of Providers and Financial Regulation) Amendment Act 1994 extended the sunset clause from 1 January 1994 to 1 January 1997.

Government Rationale for Extension to 1999

The rationale given by the Government in the Second Reading Speech to this Bill for extending the sunset clause is

Unfortunately, States and Territories have still not implemented legislation which would allow withdrawal of this Act.

Consistent with the Government's push to limit unnecessary business regulation, it is appropriate to retain a sunset clause in this Act. The bill before the house seeks to extend the sunset date by only two years, because this is considered sufficient time to allow further industry consultations to develop simpler, but still effective regulation to this industry.

Main Provisions

The effect of item 1 of Schedule 1 is to extend the sunset clause from 1 January 1997 to 1 January 1999.

Endnotes

(1) Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training, Inquiry into the Operation of the Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration of Providers and Financial Regulation) Act 1991, December 1992, p. 22.

(2) Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training, The Efficacy of the Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration of Providers and Financial Regulation) Act 1991 in the light of the collapse of the Australian Business College in Perth in January 1993, August 1993, p. 21.

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Ian Ireland Ph. 06 277 2438
21 June 1996
Bills Digest Service
Parliamentary Research Service

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine whether the Bill has been enacted and, if so, whether the subsequent Act reflects further amendments.

PRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members and their staff but not with members of the public.

ISSN 1323-9032
Commonwealth of Australia 1996

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1996.

This page was prepared by the Parliamentary Library, Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated: 24 June 1996



Back to top


Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print
Back to top