Last night the Senate acted to safeguard Australia’s reputation as a quality international education provider by supporting Labor’s amendments to Education Services for Overseas Students Bill.
Despite rearranging Government business on two occasions during the day, the Turnbull Liberal Government was unable to convince a majority of the Senate to back their reckless plan to water down consumer protections.
Labor’s amendment retained the “designated account” which requires private training providers to maintain a specific account into which all tuition fees are paid before the commencement of a student’s course.
Once again, the Government was in such a state of chaos and dysfunction that they presented another half-baked proposal in their pursuit of unfettered deregulation.
International education is Australia's third largest export sector - worth $18 billion a year to our economy.
Yet the Government sought to ram this complex legislation through the Parliament in the last sitting week of the year without the proper scrutiny it deserves.
The Senate committee that undertook a brief review of the legislation was not even able to hold public hearings to hear from experts.
The Senate committee’s report was tabled only moments before debate on the legislation commenced in the Senate, allowing Senators no time to consider the committee’s recommendations before having to vote on the legislation.
Labor will continue to protect Australia’s $18 billion a year international education industry from these reckless deregulatory measures.