Education Legislation Amendment (Startup Year and Other Measures) Bill 2023; Consideration of Senate Message – 20 Jun 2023

Mr CLARE (BlaxlandMinister for Education) (16:16): I move:

That the requested amendments be made.

These amendments were introduced by the government in the Senate to fix a gap in the HELP system whereby New Zealand citizen students missed out on HELP loans for a portion of their Australian citizenship journey. The amendment aligns the Higher Education Support Act with the government’s recently announced pathway to Australian citizenship for New Zealand citizens. It ensures that students who have already begun their citizenship journey are treated the same as those embarking on the government’s new pathway, and it permits those students to access the HELP system whilst they do so. It’s a matter of fairness. It’s a modest fix but one which will be very important to those it helps. I am pleased that these amendments have received broad support in the Senate. I commend the amendments to the House.