Bills Digest no. 75, 2016–17
PDF version [611KB]
James Griffiths and Carol Ey
Social Policy Section
Law and Bills Digest Section
Purpose of the Bill
Structure of the Bill
VET student loans
Expansion of the scheme
The new scheme—VET student loans
Calls for a VET Student Loans
Selection of Bills Committee
Senate Standing Committee for the
Scrutiny of Bills
Policy position of non-government
Position of major interest groups
Statement of Compatibility with Human
Parliamentary Joint Committee on
Schedule 1—key provisions and issues
Establishing the VET Student Loans
Investigations and complaints
Requirement of procedural fairness
Key issue—consequences of
Key issue—the complexity of the VET
regulatory and review framework
Schedule 2—key provisions and issues
Date introduced: 16
House: House of
1-3 on Royal Assent; Schedule 2 on the day after Royal Assent; Schedule 1 on
1 July 2017
Links: The links to the Bill,
its Explanatory Memorandum and second reading speech can be found on the
Bill’s home page, or through the Australian
When Bills have been passed and have received Royal Assent,
they become Acts, which can be found at the Federal Register of Legislation
All hyperlinks in this Bills Digest are correct as
at March 2017.
The purpose of the Education and Other Legislation
Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2017 (the Bill) is to amend the Ombudsman Act 1976
to establish the office of the VET Student Loans Ombudsman. In addition, the
Bill amends the Australian
Research Council Act 2001 to update indexation against appropriation
funding caps for existing legislated amounts and includes an additional forward
of the Bill
The Bill contains two Schedules:
1 amends the Ombudsman Act to establish the office of the VET Student
Loans Ombudsman. It also makes consequential amendments to the Ombudsman Act
and the VET
Student Loans Act 2016
2 amends the Australian Research Council Act to update indexation
against appropriation funding caps.
The regulation of the vocational education and training
(VET) sector in Australia and the administration of the previous VET FEE-HELP
scheme have been subject to much Parliamentary and public debate and activity
over the past decade. In particular, concerns have been raised about the
quality of courses, and the recruitment practices of providers.
VET student loans
VET FEE-HELP was introduced in June 2007 by the Howard
Government, as part of legislative amendments to the Higher Education
Support Act 2003.
At the time, it extended the existing government loan scheme for full-fee
paying higher education students (FEE-HELP) to those vocational education and
training (VET) students undertaking full-fee paying Diploma, Advanced Diploma,
Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate qualifications. In part this was to
redress a situation where students studying these qualifications at higher
education institutions were eligible for HELP loans, while those studying in
the VET sector were not.
The focus on full-fee paying students was in line with the
existing FEE-HELP scheme; this was supposed to offer financial support to those
students who would not otherwise receive subsidises to undertake a VET
qualification, thereby expanding the pool of students who could access VET.
States and territories typically offer various subsidies at a jurisdictional
level, making it cheaper for students to undertake particular VET courses in
line with determined skills needs, or because the student in question is deemed
eligible for a concession fee.
The initial VET FEE-HELP had very strict entry
requirements for providers in the form of credit transfer arrangements. These
required the VET provider to have a credit transfer arrangement in place with a
higher education provider (for example, a university). This meant that the
higher education provider had assessed the training offered by the VET provider
and was willing to accept the VET qualification as credit towards a higher
While it did not mean there was an entirely independent
audit of the VET provider, the higher education provider had a reputational
reason to ensure that it only recognised qualifications and students who were
capable of meeting its own particular standards and articulating into one of
its own courses.
Expansion of the scheme
The take up of the initial scheme was very low: only 5,262
students accessed a VET FEE-HELP loan in 2009, and only 50 registered training
organisations were authorised to be VET FEE-HELP providers.
The combination of the credit transfer provisions and the restrictions on
subsidised students accessing a VET FEE-HELP loan reduced the potential
As a result, VET reform was flagged in the 2010–11 Budget,
with the announcement of a national entitlement to a training place, expanding
access to VET FEE-HELP to further VET qualifications, transparent information
for students, and a new national VET regulator.
The new national VET regulator, the Australian Skills
Quality Authority (ASQA) was given responsibility for regulating registered
training organisations (RTOs) over which it had jurisdiction.
This involved assessing a provider’s capacity against the relevant Standards,
both for those organisations applying to be registered and become an RTO, and
existing RTOs. Once a provider was registered with ASQA, it could then apply
separately to the Department of Education and Training to be approved to offer
VET FEE-HELP loans to its students. The VET FEE-HELP process was governed by a
separate set of guidelines under the Higher Education Support Act 2003.
The expansion of VET FEE-HELP was a significant change.
The loan scheme was initially created to support full-fee students who had no
state or territory assistance for their training; progressively it was opened
to any VET student in a course meeting the Guidelines. The removal of credit
transfer arrangements also allowed new providers without a track record of
education delivery to enter the market. Unlike HECS-HELP or the original HELP,
which operated in the higher education sector, fees were not regulated, so any
RTO could apply to provide VET FEE-HELP loans, and if successful, they could
charge the student any fees the student was willing to pay, with the
Commonwealth providing funding.
The expansion was also reported as having changed the
business model of the VET sector. As the loan involved an upfront payment to a
provider, new providers had an incentive to enter the market and to build up
their student numbers quickly. Private providers often were largely dependent
on government funding from VET FEE-HELP loans.
There were no penalties in place should a student fail to complete a
qualification, nor would the provider have to pay back the loan amount. In
order to entice more students—and get more funding, VET FEE-HELP providers
started to utilise aggressive marketing techniques, including brokers, agents,
inducements and potentially misleading advertising practices to direct students
to their particular course offerings.
Government reforms to address identified issues with VET
FEE-HELP and the broader VET sector ensued through late 2014, 2015 and 2016.
These reforms were essentially placeholders, as the Government announced it
would undertake ‘a fundamental redesign of the scheme for 2017’.
The new scheme—VET student loans
Following consultations on possible changes to VET
FEE-HELP in early April 2016, and the release of a discussion paper later that
month, legislation for an entirely new student loan scheme was introduced in
The new scheme, VET Student Loans, was a radical departure
from the policy design of existing student loans in Australia. Previously,
student loans schemes, including VET FEE-HELP, had been authorised under the Higher
Education Support Act, with any additional requirements set out in
guidelines. VET Student Loans were established under a separate statute, which
utilised the repayment framework in the Higher Education Support Act but
added onerous requirements on loan providers. These included granting the
Secretary of the Department powers to require providers wishing to offer new
VET Student Loans to provide evidence of their experience in providing
education, and the ways in which their curriculum was aligned to industry need.
Calls for a VET Student Loans Ombudsman
The HELP student loans scheme does not have an external
review process established as part of the scheme. In part, this was because it
was initially only available to students at public higher education
institutions, which are covered by the relevant state and territory Ombudsman.
In addition, fees in higher education are regulated and there are few concerns
about the quality of education provided.
Most of the concerns about dubious practices around VET
FEE-HELP were directed at private providers, where recourse to the Ombudsman
was not available. Some complaints have been lodged with the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) under the Australian Consumer Law,
while others have been directed to the Department of Education and Training.
However, the lack of clarity about the options for raising complaints has been
raised as an issue in several inquiries.
For example, in 2015 a Senate Committee inquiry into the
operation of private VET providers recommended the establishment of a dedicated
VET sector ombudsman, funded by the industry, to assist with dispute resolution
for students with complaints against RTOs.
The Committee suggested that the role of the ombudsman be modelled on the
Overseas Students Ombudsman, which had been established in response to similar
concerns about private provider malpractice in relation to overseas students.
In the second reading speech introducing the VET Student
Loans Bill 2016, Karen Andrews, the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education
and Skills, advised that to ‘further strengthen student protections, the
government intends to establish a VET student loans ombudsman...’
This move was supported by the Senate inquiry into that Bill, with a
recommendation that ‘the Government establish a VET Ombudsman and work with key
stakeholders to ensure that the Ombudsman operates in a way that is fit for
of Bills Committee
At its meeting on 16 February 2017, the Selection of Bills
Committee decided to defer consideration of the Bill to its next meeting.
Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills
At the time of writing this Bills Digest, the Senate
Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills had made no comment about the
position of non-government parties/independents
During debate of the VET Student Loans Bill 2016, Kate
Ellis, the Shadow Minister for Education, proposed an amendment to the Bill to include
the establishment of a VET Student Loans Ombudsman, but the amendment was not
Therefore, it is likely the Labor Party will support the Bill given its
similarity to this earlier proposal.
The Greens also welcomed the announcement of the
Government’s intention to establish a VET Ombudsman, although their support
appears to have been for a more general remit than just student loans.
major interest groups
There has been widespread support among interest groups
for the establishment of a specialised VET ombudsman. When providing evidence
to the Senate inquiry into the VET Student Loan Bill, a number of groups expressed
their support, including entities with regulatory responsibility such as ASQA
and the ACCC, and advocacy groups such as the Consumer Action Law Centre.
Industry representatives including Technical and Further Education (TAFE)
Directors, the Australian College for Private Education and Training (ACPET),
and the Academy of Interactive Entertainment have also supported the move, with
ACPET noting that an ombudsman ‘offers the vast majority of providers the
protection of knowing that those who do the wrong thing will be weeded out.’
The establishment of the VET Student Loans Ombudsman is
expected to cost $7.8 million over four years, while the amendments to the ARC
spending caps will allow additional spending of up to $752.4 million over the
same period (mainly through the funding of an additional year).
There may be additional administrative burden on VET
providers and on other VET regulatory agencies associated with the creation of
an additional office with oversight of the VET sector.
Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights
As required under Part 3 of the Human Rights
(Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, the Government has assessed the Bill’s
compatibility with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the
international instruments listed in section 3 of that Act. The Government
considers that the Bill is compatible.
Joint Committee on Human Rights
At the time of writing this Bills Digest the Parliamentary
Joint Committee on Human Rights had made no comments about the Bill.
provisions and issues
the VET Student Loans Ombudsman
Item 4 of Schedule 1 to the Bill inserts proposed
Part IIE—VET Student Loans Ombudsman into the Ombudsman Act. The
person who holds the office of Commonwealth Ombudsman will be the VET Student
The Bill provides that the VET Student Loans Ombudsman has
the following functions:
conduct investigations, and make recommendations and other reports, about VET
loan assistance and compliance by VET student loan scheme
providers with their statutory requirements
give VET student loan scheme providers advice and training about
the best practice for the handling of complaints made to them by VET students about
VET loan assistance
develop, promote and to review from time to time, a code of practice
perform any other function conferred on him, or her, by any Act or legislative
The term VET loan assistance means a VET
student loan within the meaning of the VET Student Loans Act or VET FEE‑HELP
assistance within the meaning of the Higher Education Support
A definition of the term VET student loan scheme provider is
inserted into subsection 3(1) of the Ombudsman Act by item 2 in
Schedule 1 to the Bill. It means an approved course provider (or former
provider) within the meaning of the VET Student Loans Act or a VET
provider (or former provider) within the meaning of the Higher Education
In performing his, or her, functions the VET Student Loans
Ombudsman may inform himself, or herself, on any matter in any way he, or she,
thinks fit, consult with anyone he, or she, thinks fit and receive written or
oral information or submissions.
In doing so, the VET Student Loans Ombudsman is not required to act in a formal
manner—unless any Act or legislative instrument requires it.
student, or a person acting on behalf of a VET student, may make a complaint
about a VET student loan scheme provider.
The VET Student Loans Ombudsman may conduct an investigation either in relation
to such a complaint or on his, or her, own initiative.
If the VET Student Loans Ombudsman considers that another body that could deal with
a complaint more effectively or conveniently, he or she must refer the
complaint to that body.
The VET Student Loans Ombudsman may decide not to
investigate, or not to further investigate, a complaint, if he or she is of the
complaint is frivolous or vexatious, or was not made in good faith
complainant does not have a sufficient interest in the subject matter of the
complaint—or has not raised the complaint with the VET student loan scheme
investigation is not warranted having regard to all the circumstances
action came to the complainant’s knowledge more than three years before the
complaint was made or
complainant has, or had, a right for the matter of the complaint to be reviewed
by a legally constituted court or tribunal but has not exercised that right.
Proposed section 20ZS of the Ombudsman Act
operates so that certain existing provisions of the Ombudsman Act will
also apply to the VET Student Loans Ombudsman. These include, but are not
definition of authorized person
manner in which complaints may be made
preliminary inquiries to determine whether the Ombudsman is authorised to
conduct an investigation
about investigations and the disclosure of information obtained by the
Ombudsman during an investigation
whether to make an arrangement with the Ombudsman of a state (or Ombudsmen of more
than one state) to undertake an investigation into matters that involve
Commonwealth and state departments or authorities
power of the Ombudsman to make an application to the Federal Court of Australia
for the determination of a question as to the exercise of his, or her, power or
the performance of his, or her, functions—provided that the Ministers
administering the Ombudsman Act and the VET Student Loans Act are
first advised in writing of the reasons for the proposed application
the complainant and the VET student loan scheme provider to be informed as soon
as practicable where the Ombudsman decides not to investigate, or continue to
investigate, a complaint
power to examine witnesses
power to enter premises—being a place that is occupied by a VET student loan
scheme provider; or a place that is occupied by a VET student loan scheme
officer of a VET student loan scheme provider
predominantly for the purposes of carrying out the officer’s powers, duties and
functions as an employee.
Requirement of procedural
The Bill requires the VET Student Loans Ombudsman to comply
with the rules of procedural fairness when exercising a power under the Ombudsman
The three rules of procedural fairness are:
hearing rule—that is, a decision maker must afford a person whose interests
will be adversely affected by a decision an opportunity to present his, or her,
case. A breach of this principle by the decision maker is a denial of
procedural fairness. A decision that has been made in breach of this principle
will be held void
rule against bias—that is, a decision maker must not have an interest in the
matter to be decided, or bring to the matter a prejudiced mind. The rule has
its origins in the maxim ‘justice should not only be done, it should be seen to
no evidence rule—that is, an administrator’s decision must be based on
logically probative evidence.
The requirement for VET Student
Loans Ombudsman to comply with the rules of procedural
fairness is consistent with the terms of some of the ‘other powers’ which are
The Bill imposes a number of reporting requirements on the
VET Student Loans Ombudsman.
First, proposed section 20ZV of the Ombudsman
Act requires that, upon completion of an investigation the VET Student
Loans Ombudsman must make a written report
to the relevant VET student loan scheme provider giving reasons, if both
of the following are satisfied:
VET Student Loans Ombudsman is of the opinion that the action by the provider appears
to have been contrary to law; was unreasonable, unjust, oppressive or
improperly discriminatory; or was otherwise, in all the circumstances, wrong and
particular action could be, and should be, taken to rectify, mitigate or alter
the effects of the action taken; a policy or practice should be altered; reasons
for the action taken were not given or any other thing should be done.
The VET Student Loans Ombudsman may ask the relevant provider
to give him, or her, within a specified time, particulars of any actions
proposed to be taken in response to the report.
The VET Student Loans Ombudsman must give the Secretary of the
Department responsible for administering the VET Student Loans Act a
copy of the report and any comments in response to the report that have been given
by the relevant provider.
A copy of the report and related provider comments may also be given to
Proposed section 20ZW of the Ombudsman
Act applies if the VET Student Loans Ombudsman has given an
investigation report to a VET student loan scheme provider but the VET student
loan scheme provider has not taken action that is adequate and appropriate in
the circumstances in relation to the matters and recommendations included in
the report within a reasonable time. In that case, the VET Student Loans
Ombudsman may give a copy of the report to the Minister and request the
Minister to lay a copy of the report and any comments before each House of the
Parliament. Where the VET Student Loans Ombudsman makes such a request, the
Minister must comply within 15 sitting days of each House after the request is
If the VET Student Loans Ombudsman forms the opinion,
either before or after completing an investigation that there is evidence of a
VET student loan officer of a VET student loan scheme provider having engaged
in misconduct, the VET Student Loans Ombudsman may bring the evidence to the
notice of the principal executive officer of the VET student loan provider.
Key issue—consequences of investigation report
The proposed Ombudsman has the power to make reports and
recommendations, and providers are required to co-operate with investigations.
While it appears likely on a reading of the VET Student Loans Rules 2016 that a
report or recommendation might be taken into account by the Department in
considering the suitability of VET Student Loans providers, this is not
Even if an RTO becomes disqualified by the Department for VET Student Loans, it
may continue to be registered with ASQA, receive subsidies through state and
territory VET programs, and enrol students. Yet issues with governance,
quality, and appropriate representation to students of the cost involved in
their study, as potentially found by the Ombudsman, are likely to resonate
beyond the VET loans schemes and depict a more systematic issue with a given
The Bill requires the VET Student Loans Ombudsman to give
an annual report to the Minister on the operations of his, or her, office
during the financial year as soon as practicable after the end of each
The annual report is to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15
sitting days of that House after the Minister receives the report.
The report must include information about each of the matters which is
prescribed in proposed subsection 20ZX(7) of the Ombudsman Act.
The VET Student Loans Ombudsman must not, in referring to
an investigation in an investigation report, an annual report or any other
report, disclose the name of a complainant who is an individual, or any other
matter that would enable such an individual to be identified, unless it is fair
and reasonable in all the circumstances to do so.
Key issue—the complexity of the VET regulatory and review
Schedule 1 of the Bill establishes the VET Student
Loans Ombudsman. While there has been widespread support for this, the addition
of another player in the VET regulatory system has the potential to create
additional confusion in an already fragmented regulatory environment; without
resolving the underlying issues in the sector.
The large number of entities in the VET sector means there
is no single entity with regulatory responsibility. ASQA is the national regulator,
but its fitness for purpose was questioned by the 2015 Senate Inquiry.
For RTOs which only service domestic students in Victoria and WA, state-based
regulators still apply. The Department of Education and Training runs the VET
student loans programs, but its capacity to properly investigate and administer
breaches has also been questioned.
Students attending government VET providers, such as
TAFEs, already have access to the relevant state and territory Ombudsman for
the resolution of complaints. All VET students in South Australia have recourse
to the Office of the Training Advocate, while apprentices and trainees have
other appeal arrangements.
The addition of a designated Ombudsman does not clarify
this framework, but adds another layer of administrative complexity.
It should also be noted that the new Ombudsman only has
responsibility for VET student loans complaints. Presumably this complaint
mechanism will only be available in relation to courses and students eligible
for VET student loans, not for other concerns about VET providers more
generally. Some of the support expressed by interest groups for the
establishment of an ombudsman appears to have been anticipating a wider role
which could consider issues in relation to the whole VET sector.
A 2016 review of the operations of the Overseas Student
Ombudsman (on which the proposed VET Student Loans Ombudsman is modelled)
identified similar concerns with students having multiple avenues to raise
complaints. The review found that these arrangements could be complex and
confusing, and that students were ‘often not aware of what assistance was
available to them and who to contact’.
The report also noted that there was a lack of consistent, sector-wide data
about complaints and appeals to reliably inform governments and policy makers
about international students’ experience with their education providers.
It would appear likely that the same issues will arise in
relation to the VET Student Loans Ombudsman, unless additional arrangements are
put in place to ensure co-ordination between all the relevant agencies and
consolidated reporting mechanisms.
Schedule 2—key provisions and issues
Australian Research Council (ARC) funding caps for
approved research programs are set under statute, allowing governments to
extend funding in line with budget announcements. These funding caps are
updated, usually annually, to take into consideration indexation and budget
decisions, and to add an additional year for the forward estimates. The ARC’s
funding is currently authorised until the end of the 2018–19 financial year.
Schedule 2 updates the funding caps for each of the
years 2016–17 to 2018–19, and adds in the funding cap for the 2019–20 financial
The establishment of a VET Student Loans Ombudsman does
provide an avenue for students to complain about issues in relation to VET
courses which are eligible for a student loan—an area which has been subject to
considerable malpractice in recent years. However, it is unclear whether the
addition of another supervisory body, particularly one with coverage of only a
section of the sector, will add much additional protection for students or
whether it will just increase the confusion about overlapping responsibilities.
further detail, please see J Griffiths, Higher
Education Support Amendment (VET FEE-HELP Reform) Bill 2015, Bills
digest, 60, 2015–16, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2015, and J Griffiths, VET
Student Loans Bill 2016 [and] VET Student Loans (Charges) Bill 2016 [and] VET
Student Loans (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2016,
Bills digest, 41, 2016–17, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2016.
. Higher Education
Support Amendment (Extending FEE-HELP for VET Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate
Diploma and Graduate Certificate Courses) Act 2007.
an example, the Australian Capital Territory government maintains a Skilled
Capital Qualifications List as part of its Skilled Capital training program,
which indicates what VET units of study and qualifications it is willing to
subsidise, the amount of the subsidy, the number of places available (often
capped in order to contain costs) and the maximum concession. The list is
updated in line with skills needs to ensure there is not a glut of particular
qualifications. See ACT Directorate of Education and Training, Skilled
Capital qualification list, The Directorate, Canberra, 15 February
of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2009
VET FEE-HELP statistical report, Department of Education, Canberra, 28
Gillard (Minister for Education), Budget
2010: Australians to receive a National Entitlement to a Quality Training Place,
media release, 11 May 2010.
and Western Australia maintain their own regulators, who are responsible for
regulating providers who only operate within those jurisdictions, and do not
have any overseas students.
the latest version, see Higher Education
Support (VET) Guideline 2015.
weighs options for growth’, The Australian, 1 October 2014, p. 23; J
Ross and D Kitney, ‘Vocation
buys into college system’, The Australian, 1 May 2014, p. 19; T
deregulation opened floodgates’, The Australian Financial Review,
1 November 2014, p. 17.
Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) first identified this as an issue in a
strategic review published in September 2013. See ASQA,
Marketing and advertising practices of Australia’s registered training
organisations: report, ASQA, Melbourne, 20 September 2013.
Hartsuyker (Minister for Vocational Education and Skills), Stronger
protections for VET students commence, media release, 1 January 2016.
S Ryan (Minister for Vocational Education and Skills), Nationwide
VET FEE-HELP consultations start today, media release, 4 April 2016;
S Ryan (Minister for Vocational Education and Skills), Release
of the Redesigning VET FEE-HELP Discussion Paper, media release, 29
April 2016; Department of Education and Training (DET), Redesigning
VET FEE-HELP, Discussion paper, DET, Canberra, 27 April 2016; and
Parliament of Australia, VET
Student Loans Bill 2016 homepage, Australian Parliament website.
VET Student Loans
Rules 2016, as made 21 December 2016 and compare with Higher Education
Support (VET) Guideline 2015, as made 18 December 2015.
Australian Consumer Law is located in Schedule 2 to the Competition and
Consumer Act 2010.
of Education and Training (DET), ‘VET FEE-HELP debt complaints’, DET website, 7
and Employment References Committee, Getting our money's
worth: the operation, regulation and funding of private vocational education
and training (VET) providers in Australia, The Senate, Canberra,
October 2015, p. 81.
reading speech: VET Student Loans Bill 2016’, House of Representatives, Debates,
13 October 2016, p. 1856.
and Employment Legislation Committee, VET
Student Loans Bill 2016 [Provisions] [and] VET Student
Loans (Charges) Bill 2016 [Provisions] [and] VET Student
Loans (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2016
[Provisions], The Senate, Canberra, November 2016, p. 61.
of Bills Committee, Report,
2, 2017, Senate, Canberra, 16 February 2017.
amendment, VET Student Loans Bill 2016, House of Representatives, 17
secure VET Ombudsman for exploited students, media release, 13 October
and Employment Legislation Committee, op. cit., pp. 57–61.
Memorandum, Education and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2017, p.
Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights can be found at pages 4–9 of the Explanatory
Memorandum to the Bill.
Act, proposed subsection 20ZL(2).
subsection 20ZM(3) of the Ombudsman Act which is inserted by item
4 of the Bill provides that the code of practice is not a legislative
instrument. In addition, proposed subsection 20ZM(2) requires the VET
Student Loans Ombudsman to consult with specified stakeholders when developing
or reviewing a code of practice.
Act, proposed paragraph 20ZM(1)(d).
Act, proposed subsection 20ZM(4). Also see item 2, Schedule 1 of the
Act, proposed subsection 20ZN(2).
Act, proposed subsection 20ZN(1).
Act, proposed section 20ZP.
Act, proposed section 20ZO.
Act, proposed subsection 20ZQ(1).
Act, proposed subsections 20ZR(a) to (f).
Act, subsection 3(1).
Act, section 7.
Act, section 7A.
Act, section 8.
Act, section 8A.
Act, subsection 11A(4) and table item 7 at proposed subsection 20ZS(1)
of the Ombudsman Act. The relevant Ministers are specified in the Administrative
Act, section 12.
Act, section 13.
subsection 20ZS(4) of the Ombudsman Act defines a VET student
loan officer of a VET student loan scheme provider as a person who (a) is
employed in the service of the provider; (b) is a member of the staff of the
provider, whether or not the person is employed by the provider; or (c) performs
services for or on behalf of the provider.
Act, section 14.
Act, proposed section 20ZT.
v West (1985) 159 CLR 550,  HCA 81.
v Sussex Justices; Ex parte McCarthy 
1 KB 256.
Concise Australian Legal Dictionary, 3rd edn, LexisNexis Butterworth's,
Sydney, 2004, p. 347; Justice Robertson, Natural justice or
procedural fairness, speech, 4 September 2015.
report must include reasons. In addition, the report may include
recommendations. Ombudsman Act, proposed subsection 20ZV(3).
Act, proposed subsection 20ZV(4).
Act, proposed subsection 20ZV(6).
Act, proposed subsection 20ZV(7).
Act, proposed section 20ZY.
. VET Student Loan
Act, proposed subsection 20ZX(1).
Act, proposed subsection 20ZX(5).
includes the number of complaints, investigations, referrals and ombudsman
reports. Actions taken, trend statistics and reporting of broader issues may
also be reported.
Act, proposed section 20ZU.
References Committee on Education and Employment, op. cit., p. 72.
for example M Warburton, The
VET FEE-HELP debacle: helping its victims and lessons for administration,
LH Martin Institute, December 2016.
you make a complaint’, ASQA website.
Students Ombudsman, Consultation
report: safeguarding the student experience: external complaints avenues,
Commonwealth Ombudsman, November 2016, p. 2.
. Australian Research
Council Act 2001, section 49.
For copyright reasons some linked items are only available to members of Parliament.
© Commonwealth of Australia
With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, and to the extent that copyright subsists in a third party, this publication, its logo and front page design are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia licence.
In essence, you are free to copy and communicate this work in its current form for all non-commercial purposes, as long as you attribute the work to the author and abide by the other licence terms. The work cannot be adapted or modified in any way. Content from this publication should be attributed in the following way: Author(s), Title of publication, Series Name and No, Publisher, Date.
To the extent that copyright subsists in third party quotes it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
Inquiries regarding the licence and any use of the publication are welcome to email@example.com.
Disclaimer: Bills Digests are prepared to support the work of the Australian Parliament. They are produced under time and resource constraints and aim to be available in time for debate in the Chambers. The views expressed in Bills Digests do not reflect an official position of the Australian Parliamentary Library, nor do they constitute professional legal opinion. Bills Digests reflect the relevant legislation as introduced and do not canvass subsequent amendments or developments. Other sources should be consulted to determine the official status of the Bill.
Any concerns or complaints should be directed to the Parliamentary Librarian. Parliamentary Library staff are available to discuss the contents of publications with Senators and Members and their staff. To access this service, clients may contact the author or the Library‘s Central Enquiry Point for referral.