The Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (Student Loan Sustainability) Act 2018 (CTH) has been assented to on 24 August 2018. The Act is aimed at improving the sustainability of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and debt recovery of the Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) by making changes such as lowering the threshold for repayment and introducing a new combined loan limit.
HELP is an income contingent loan program for the purpose of assisting higher education students in Australia with paying for their education. Reforms were suggested in the Government’s higher education package announced in December 2017 as part of the. The Bill for this Act was originally introduced by former Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills and current Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews, and following its introduction was referred to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee.
The Act amends the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (CTH), the Social Security Act 1991 (CTH), the Student Assistance Act 1973 (CTH), the Trade Support Loans Act 2014 (CTH) and the VET Student Loans Act 2016 (CTH). The amendments have the following impacts:
In aissued by the Media Centre for the Department of Education and Training, former Minister for Education and Training and current Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham stated:
Former Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills and current Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews also stated in thethat the 25 per cent loan fee for private university students would be abolished.
Nationals Senator Steve Martin voted against the Bill, and wasas stating:
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Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (Student Loan Sustainability) Act 2018 (CTH) and Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (Student Loan Sustainability) Bill 2018 (CTH), second reading speech and explanatory memorandum, as published on TimeBase LawOne.
[media release] Department of Education and Training, ‘,’ 14 August 2018.
Shalailah Medhora, ‘,’ ABC Triple J, 14 August 2018.
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