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senate vote 2019-10-15#1

Edited by mackay staff

on 2019-11-01 16:02:02


  • Bills — Higher Education Support (Charges) Bill 2019, Higher Education Support Amendment (Cost Recovery) Bill 2019; Second Reading
  • Higher Education Support (Charges) Bill 2019, Higher Education Support Amendment (Cost Recovery) Bill 2019 - Second Reading - Agree with bills' main idea


  • <p class="speaker">Matt O&#39;Sullivan</p>
  • <p>I rise to continue the remarks that I was making last night on the Higher Education Support (Charges) Bill 2019 and the Higher Education Support Amendment (Cost Recovery) Bill 2019. I was speaking of the extra $4.5 billion in funding that will be available to non-government schools over the next decade. This extra funding is not at the expense of government schools. From 2017 to 2029, Commonwealth funding for government schools will increase by 75 per cent, on average, and funding for non-government schools will increase by 55 per cent, per student, on average. Secure long-term funding is being provided for all students, based on need. We can do this because of our strong economic position.</p>
  • <p>When the time comes, the pipeline is in place to ensure that young Australians can move into longer-term careers&#8212;careers which have been made possible because of the environment that this government has put in place which has seen record jobs growth and lower unemployment because Australian businesses of all sizes have the confidence to invest and to grow. In fact, more than 1.3 million more Australians are in jobs since this government was elected. Nearly 60 per cent of these people are in full-time jobs.</p>
  • The majority voted in favour of a [motion]( to agree with the bills' main idea. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bills for a [second time]( The Senate can now discuss them in greater detail.
  • ### What is the bills' main idea?
  • According to the [bills digest](
  • > *Together, the [Charges Bill](;query=Id:legislation/billhome/r6339) and the [Cost Recovery Bill](;query=Id:legislation/billhome/r6338) propose to give effect to a 2018–19 Budget measure to introduce partial cost recovery arrangements for higher education providers whose students access the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).*
  • >
  • > *These arrangements comprise two new charges:*
  • >
  • > * *an annual higher education provider charge to partially recover the cost of administering HECS‑HELP and FEE-HELP and*
  • > * *an application fee to be paid by registered higher education providers seeking to become FEE‑HELP providers, to recover the cost of administering the FEE-HELP application process.*
  • <p>Our 2013 promise for one million new jobs to be created within five years was delivered, ahead of schedule. As a government, we are ensuring that jobseekers have the tools they need to find work and that those young Australians who need a little more support are able to access it. The government's new Skilling Australians Fund is just one such initiative which will see more apprenticeships and vocational opportunities created. Over the next five years alone, 80,000 apprenticeships will be created in occupations with skill shortages, through incentive payments for employers and apprentices. We are also establishing 10 local industry training hubs in areas of high youth unemployment, to ensure vocational education programs are tailored to meet the workforce needs and skill demands.</p>
  • <p>Compare our track record to that of those opposite. When they were last in government, and Mr Shorten was the minister for employment, there was a decline of 110,000 apprenticeships&#8212;that's 22 per cent&#8212;in just one year, 2012-13. That 110,000 apprenticeships were gone in just one year is a special achievement in and of itself, but, of course, it is not one that should be applauded. It is something that those opposite should be quite embarrassed about. If you contrast that with our figures, you'll see we're delivering on our commitment to get more young Australians into work. Over 100,000 young people aged between 15 and 24 got a job in 2017-18. That is the largest number in a financial year on record. We on this side are reducing youth unemployment and are helping young people find jobs. Our Youth Jobs PaTH program&#8212;prepare, trial, hire&#8212;helps 17- to-24-year-old jobseekers move from welfare to work. It is a program that Labor do not support. This program has already helped over 43,000 young people get into a job, yet Labor continue to stand in the way. We will expand PaTH to pilot 10 industry-led programs to better target the training and internship experiences of young people. They need to get practical experience in the workplace. This program deals with the chicken-and-egg situation where employers say they want people who are skilled, who have a little bit of experience, so they can give them a go, but jobseekers say, 'How do I get that experience if that's what everyone is saying?' PaTH deals with that problem. We'll expand PaTH into 10 industry-led programs to better target the training and internship experiences of young people.</p>
  • <p>In my first speech I spoke about the VTEC program, the model pioneered by Fortescue Metals Group and trialled in Fitzroy Crossing, which has become a national program with national success. It has been funded by this government. The VTEC program has helped over 10,000 long-term unemployed Indigenous jobseekers, many with significant and multiple barriers to employment, to find work. The retention rate among these jobseekers, having been placed into a job, is over 70 per cent&#8212;70 per cent of them are still in work some six months later. This is a significant improvement, particularly when you consider the level of disadvantage and the types of barriers that some of those jobseekers have. As a Liberal, I am extremely proud that the coalition government has committed over $40 million to rolling out VTECs across Australia.</p>
  • <p>Our record on universities is also particularly strong. We are providing a record $17.7 billion to universities across this country and working with them to ensure that that leads to better outcomes for students. The funding is targeted and is being delivered to practical programs which are in the best interests of the student and the nation. We're also ensuring that all research is in the public interest. Taxpayer support for universities should always provide a return for taxpayers&#8212;they are the ones investing in it&#8212;so students, their families and the broader community who benefit from this world-class research are able to see the benefit to them. And this is undertaken in Australian universities. In Western Australia this investment is supporting key industrial outcomes, particularly in space, where we are on the doorstep to securing a critical share of global industry growth that is poised to be worth some $400 billion in the coming decades. This investment is also supporting research into new energy and critical raw minerals. I commend my colleague Senator Canavan for the important work that he has done in this space. It's also supporting agriculture, ocean research and the creation of groundbreaking technologies across the broader resources sector, among many others.</p>
  • <p>With all this, it is important that all Australians are able to access these opportunities. We have a strong economy and we have key traditional and new industries poised for growth. That's why we are also providing over $400 million in support for rural and regional students to go to university and have helped over 170,000 students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. We are also making sure that these opportunities work for and are accessible to everyone, no matter who they are, where they come from or where they started in life. In conclusion, our record as a government on education and on delivering practical career outcomes is strong. I commend these bills to the house.</p>
  • <p class='motion-notice motion-notice-truncated'>Long debate text truncated.</p>