Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

A Bill for an Act to grant financial assistance to the States and to other persons for vocational education and training, and for related purposes
Administered by: DEST
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 06 Jun 2005
Introduced HR 11 May 2005

2004-2005

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

SKILLING AUSTRALIA’S WORKFORCE BILL 2005

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Vocational and Technical Education

the Honourable Gary Hardgrave MP)


SKILLING AUSTRALIA’S WORKFORCE BILL 2005

 

 

OUTLINE

 

 

The Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) was established in 1992 to coordinate the levels of government in establishing a national vocational education and training system.

 

On 22 October 2004, the Prime Minister announced the abolition of ANTA and the transfer of ANTA’s functions to the Department of Education, Science and Training from July 2005.

 

The Skilling Australia’s Workforce Bill 2005 will be the vehicle for the Government’s new National Training Arrangements for the funding period July 2005 - 31 December 2008 and will provide the authority to appropriate some $4.4 billion in grants to States and Territories over the funding period 2005-2008.

 

A key feature of the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Bill will be the strengthening of the funding framework, which will link funding for the States and Territories to a range of conditions and targets for training outcomes.  These will move forward the Government’s reform agenda and drive quality improvement and increased flexibility in the vocational education and training sector. 

 

In order to receive financial assistance, States and Territories will be required to meet a number of statutory conditions including: maximising choice for employers and new apprentices; implementing workplace reform in TAFE; implementing an approach to vocational education and training that is based on competence, rather than on length of time; and increasing the utilisation of fully publicly funded training infrastructure.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The Bill will appropriate a funding limit of $4.397 billion for the funding period 2005- 2008.

 

 

 

 


SKILLING AUSTRALIA’S WORKFORCE BILL 2005

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Part 1 – Preliminary

 

 

Clause 1 – Short Title

 

Provides for the Act to be cited as the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Act 2005.

 

 

Clause 2 – Commencement

 

Provides for sections 1 and 2 of the Act to commence on the day on which the Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

Sections 3 to 47 commence on the day on which the Act receives the Royal Assent or 1 July 2005, whichever is the later. 

 

 

Clause 3 – Interpretation

 

Subclause 3(1) provides definitions of the terms and expressions used in the Act.*

 

Subclause 3(2) provides that in the Act, a reference to anything done, or to be done, by the Ministerial Council is a reference to the thing done, or to be done, by the Ministerial Council by resolution in accordance with the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement.

 

Subclause 3(3) provides that an instrument declaring a project, program or other initiative relating to vocational education and training to be a strategic national initiative is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as such an instrument is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

*Note:  The clauses in the Bill will become sections of the Act on Royal Assent.  In this Explanatory Memorandum only the first reference to a clause or subclause uses that terminology.  Subsequent references use the terms “section” or “subsection” as appropriate.

 


 

Clause 4 – Objects

 

Sets out the objects of the Act, which are:

 

·      to strengthen Australia’s economic base through providing a highly skilled workforce which will meet the future needs of Australian businesses, industries, communities and individuals; and

·       to promote a national approach to the delivery of vocational education and training through collaboration and cooperation between the Commonwealth, the States and industry; and

·      to support a national training system that is responsive to the needs of industry and employers and in which industry and employers drive the policies, priorities and delivery of vocational education and training.  Further, the system should ensure high quality and nationally consistent vocational education and training, including through providing flexible and accelerated training delivery.  The system should be streamlined and simple to access, and encourage more Australians to prefer vocational education and training options when making career choices.

 

 


 

Part 2 – Grants to States: capital expenditure and recurrent expenditure

 

Division 1 – General provisions

 

Clause 5 – Minister may make determinations authorising payments

 

Subclause 5(1) provides that the Minister may make a determination authorising payment of financial assistance under the Act to a State for a year, for the purposes of capital expenditure and/or recurrent expenditure for vocational education and training.

 

Subclause 5(2) requires a determination made under subsection (1) for a year to be consistent with the allocations made by the Ministerial Council under section 6 for that year.

 

Subclause 5(3) notes that a determination made under subsection 5(1) is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as such a determination is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

 

Clause 6 – Allocation of financial assistance by Ministerial Council

 

Subclause 6(1) requires the Ministerial Council to allocate the financial assistance payable under the Act to States for the purposes of capital and recurrent expenditure for vocational education and training.

 

Subclause 6(2) has the effect of allowing the Ministerial Council to make more than one allocation of financial assistance for the same year, provided that the total amount of the financial assistance allocated for that year under section 6 and section 28 of the Act does not exceed the applicable amount under section 37. 

 

 

Clause 7 – Agreements with States in relation to vocational education and training a precondition for payment of financial assistance

 

Subclause 7(1) provides that the Minister must not authorise a payment of financial assistance under the Act to a State for a year for vocational education and training unless a written agreement is in force between the Commonwealth and the State.  The agreement is referred to as the Commonwealth-State Agreement for Skilling Australia’s Workforce or the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement

 

The Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement must relate to vocational education and training, and must comply with Division 3 of the Act.  The agreement must have been either entered into by the State during 2005, whether before or after the commencement of the Act, or be a later agreement expressed to replace the 2005 agreement. 

 

The effect of subparagraph 7(1)(c)(i) of the Act is that a State that does not become a party to the agreement in 2005 will not be entitled to receive financial assistance under the Act while the 2005 agreement is in force.

 

Subclause 7(2) provides that the Minister must not authorise a payment of financial assistance under the Act to a State, for a year starting on or after 1 January 2006, for vocational education and training unless a written agreement is in force between the Commonwealth and the State.  This agreement is referred to as the bilateral agreement.  The bilateral agreement must be an agreement of a kind provided for in the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement and must comply with Division 4 of the Act.

 

Subclause 7(3) provides that the Minister must not authorise a payment of financial assistance under the Act to a State for a year unless the Minister has approved the annual VET plan for the State for the year.

 

The effect of subclause 7(4) is that the Minister must not authorise a payment of financial assistance to a State other than in accordance with the terms of the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement.

 

 

Clause 8 – Payments subject to conditions

 

Provides that payment of financial assistance under the Act to a State for a year is subject to the conditions specified in the Act, and in the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement.  For a year starting on or after 1 January 2006, the financial assistance is also subject to the conditions specified in the bilateral agreement in force between the Commonwealth and the State.


 

Division 2 – Statutory conditions

 

Clause 9 – Conditions of grants – general

 

Provides that financial assistance is granted under the Act to a State for a year on the conditions set out in Division 2 of Part 2.

 

 

Clause 10 – Condition of grant – payments to be spent for vocational education and training

 

Requires a State to ensure that payments received by it under the Act are spent for the vocational education and training purposes specified in the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement or the bilateral agreement to which the State is a party.

 

 

Clause 11 – Condition of grant – maximising choice for employers and new apprentices

 

This clause requires a State to comply with the user choice policy and take action to maximise choice for employers and new apprentices.  The requirements placed on States include:

 

·      implementing arrangements to introduce genuine competition in the vocational education and training sector; and

·      implementing arrangements to ensure that new apprentices and employers have greater choice and flexibility in relation to their VET provider and the method and location of the training provided; and

·      participating, in accordance with the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement, in the establishment of a national unit price band for each apprenticeship or traineeship under the New Apprenticeships Scheme; and

·      consulting with the State Training Authority and employer groups in the State to decide which apprenticeships and traineeships, and which employers and new apprentices, are to be eligible to receive user choice funding under the New Apprenticeships Scheme; and

·       increasing, by 5 per cent each year, the proportion of apprenticeships and traineeships that are eligible for user choice funding under the New Apprenticeships Scheme; and

·      in consultation with the other States and the Commonwealth and before 1 January 2007, developing a template for a national contract setting out the standard terms and conditions that will apply to VET providers that are eligible to receive user choice funding under the New Apprenticeships Scheme.

 

Subclause 11(2) defines ‘user choice policy’ as the policy relating to vocational education and training agreed to by the Commonwealth and the States in 1997, and includes any amendments made to that policy.

 

 

Clause 12 – Condition of grant – workplace reforms

 

This clause requires the States to implement workplace reforms in the VET sector as a condition of grant. 

 

Subclause 12(1) provides that these reforms must include:

 

·      giving technical and further education institutions (TAFE institutions) greater flexibility and capacity to respond to local industry and community needs within the context of the national requirements of the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement;

·      ensuring that TAFE institutions introduce more flexible employment arrangements by offering Australian workplace agreements to staff, except where making such agreements under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 is not possible because of the corporate status of the TAFE institution, in which case other individual agreements should be offered;

·      supporting stronger leadership and authority for directors of TAFE institutions, including in relation to recruitment and remuneration of employees;

·      implementing a fair and transparent performance management scheme in TAFE institutions that rewards high performance (including through performance pay) and manages underperformance;

·      providing capacity for TAFE institutions to retain revenue and generate increased revenue through partnerships with industry and sponsorship arrangements;

·      providing capacity for TAFE institutions to develop entrepreneurial and commercially oriented business plans that will enable government funding to be reduced;

·      ensuring that TAFE institutions’ workplace agreements, policies and practices are consistent with the freedom of association principles contained in the Workplace Relations Act 1996.  In particular, TAFE institutions must neither encourage nor discourage trade union membership.

 

Subclause 12(2) provides that subsection 12(1) does not require the amendment or variation of certified agreements or other industrial instruments in force on the day on which the Act commences.

 

Subclause 12(3) provides that all certified agreements or other industrial instruments made, approved or certified on or after the day on which the Act commences must be consistent with the workplace reforms referred to in subsection 12(1).

 

Subclause 12(4) provides that all workplace policies and practices in effect on the day on which the Act commences must be amended or varied to be consistent with those workplace reforms, except to the extent that to do so would be directly inconsistent with a certified agreement or other industrial instrument in force on that day.

 

 

Clause 13 – Condition of grant – competence-based training

 

This clause requires States to implement an approach to vocational education and training that is based on competence, rather than length of time spent in education or training.  As part of this, States are required to take action to remove any barriers to this approach in State awards.  States are also required to contribute to the achievement of a consistent national system of occupational licensing requirements.

 

 

Clause 14 – Condition of grant – increased utilisation of publicly funded training infrastructure

 

This clause requires States to improve the utilisation of publicly funded training infrastructure.  States are required to ensure that VET providers that operate in publicly funded premises make them available, on a commercial basis, for purposes that do not conflict with the provider’s vocational education and training purposes.

 

 

Clause 15 – Condition of grant – payments for capital expenditure

 

Subclause 15(1) requires a State to ensure that financial assistance paid to the State under this Act for the purposes of capital expenditure on vocational education and training is spent for those purposes in accordance with guidelines determined by the Ministerial Council.

 

Subclause 15(2) provides that a determination made under subsection 15(1) is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as a determination made under subsection (1) is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

 

Clause 16 – Condition of grant – role of State Training Authorities

 

This clause requires a State to maintain a State Training Authority that has certain responsibilities.  These responsibilities are:

·      participating in the preparation of the annual VET plan for the State;

·      providing advice to the State Minister who is responsible for vocational education and training, including in relation to any decisions about which apprenticeships and traineeships, and which employers and new apprentices, are to be eligible to receive user choice funding under the New Apprenticeships Scheme.

 


 

Clause 17 – Condition of grant – providing advice about vocational education and training

 

Requires the State to ensure that it has client advisory arrangements in place to ensure that the views of all students, in particular educationally disadvantaged or isolated students, are considered in making decisions about the delivery of vocational education and training.

 

 

Clause 18 – Condition of grant – overseas students

 

Requires States to ensure that payments received under the Act are not used for providing vocational education or training to overseas students.

 

 

Clause 19 – Condition of grant – recreational pursuits

 

Requires States to ensure that payments received under the Act are not used for providing education or training for private recreational pursuits or hobbies.

 


 

Division 3 – Conditions of the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement

 

Clause 20 – Matters to which conditions of the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement must relate

 

Subclause 20(1) provides that, for the purposes of paragraph 7(1)(b), an agreement complies with Division 3 of Part 2 if the agreement satisfies the requirements of section 20.  This agreement is referred to as the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement.

 

Subclause 20(2) sets out the conditions that must be included in the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement.  These are conditions relating to the following matters:

 

·      national goals and objectives in relation to vocational education and training;

·      national policies to improve the consistency, quality and responsiveness of vocational education and training providers

·      national policies to improve the standards for auditing and monitoring of vocational education and training providers;

·      national policies to improve the standards for recognition of qualifications provided by vocational education and training providers;

·      national planning arrangements for vocational education and training;

·      national priorities and national initiatives for vocational education and training;

·      national outcomes focussed performance measures for vocational education and training.

 

Subclause 20(3) provides that the agreement must include a commitment by all parties to support the national training system and its guiding principles, including the National Governance and Accountability Framework and the National Skills Framework, by working collaboratively in conjunction with the Ministerial Council, the National Quality Council and National Industry Skills Committee.

 

Subclause 20(4) requires the agreement to contain a provision enabling the making of a bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and each State that is a party to the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement.

 

Subclause 20(5) provides that the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement may specify conditions in addition to, but not inconsistent with, the conditions mentioned in subsections (2), (3) and (4).

 


 

Division 4 – Conditions of bilateral agreements

 

Clause 21 – When an agreement complies with this Division

 

Clause 21 indicates that for the purposes of paragraph 7(2)(b), an agreement complies with Division 4 of Part 2 if the agreement satisfies the requirements of sections 22 to 25.  This agreement is known as a bilateral agreement.

 

 

Clause 22 – Certifying that payments duly spent or committed

 

Requires the bilateral agreement to include a condition that the State that is a party to the agreement give to the Secretary of the Department a certificate that is made by a qualified accountant and which identifies whether the payments to the State have been spent (or committed to be spent) for the purposes specified in the agreement or the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement.

 

The agreement must also include a condition that, if not all the payments have been spent, or committed to be spent, by the State for the purposes specified in the bilateral agreement or the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement, the State will, if the Minister so determines, pay to the Commonwealth the amount stated in the determination, within a timeframe determined by the Minister.  The amount determined by the Minister must not be more than the sum of the unspent or uncommitted amounts.

 

Subclause 22(3) provides that a determination made under paragraph 1(b) is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as such a determination is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

 

Clause 23 – Reports about financial expenditure

 

Requires the bilateral agreement to include a condition that the State that is a party to the agreement must give the Minister reports about the expenditure of financial assistance paid to the State under the Act.  The reports must contain the kind of information that the Minister thinks appropriate about the financial assistance.

 

 

Clause 24 – Reporting on performance

 

Requires the bilateral agreement to include a condition that the State is to comply with the performance reporting requirements specified in the agreement.

 

 

 

Clause 25 – Conditions about reporting

 

Provides that the bilateral agreement must include a condition that the State give to the Minister or to the Secretary of the Department (as specified in the Act or in the bilateral agreement) the reports or certificates mentioned in sections 22, 23 and 24 and any other reports of a kind or kinds specified in the bilateral agreement or the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement.  The reports are to be provided at the times, and in the manner, required by the agreement.

 

 

Clause 26 – Agreement may specify other conditions

 

Provides that the bilateral agreement may specify conditions in addition to, but not inconsistent with, the conditions mentioned in sections 22 to 25.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Part 3 – Grants for strategic national initiatives

 

Clause 27 – Minister may make determination authorising payments

 

Subclauses 27(1) and 27(2) provide that the Minister may make a determination authorising a payment of financial assistance under the Act to a State or to another person for a year for the purposes of a strategic national initiative.  The Minister may also make a determination authorising a notional payment of financial assistance under the Act to an Agency for a year for the purposes of a strategic national initiative.  A determination made must be consistent with the allocations made by the Ministerial Council under section 28 for a year for the purposes of a strategic national initiative.

 

Subclause 27(3) provides that a determination made under subsection (1) is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as a determination made under subsection (1) is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

 

Clause 28 – Allocation of financial assistance by Ministerial Council

 

Requires the Ministerial Council to allocate the financial assistance that may be paid under Part 3 of the Act to States and to other persons for a year for specified strategic national initiatives.   The Ministerial Council is permitted to make more than one allocation of financial assistance under this section for the same year, but the total amount of the financial assistance allocated under this section and section 6 for the year must not exceed the amount applicable under section 37 for that year.

 

 

Clause 29 – Precondition of payments for strategic national initiatives

 

Subclause 29(1) requires the Minister not to authorise a payment of financial assistance to a State for a strategic national initiative unless the State satisfies the requirements for payment of financial assistance set out in Part 2.

 

The effect of subclauses 29(2) and 29(3) is to require the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement to be in force prior to payment being made for strategic national initiatives under the Act.   The Minister must not authorise a payment of financial assistance to a person other than a State for a strategic national initiative unless the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement is in place.  Further, the Minister must not authorise a payment of financial assistance to a State or to another person for a strategic national initiative other than in accordance with the terms of the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement.

 


 

Clause 30 – Conditions of payment

 

Subclause 30(1) provides for conditions on which payment of financial assistance to a State or to another person is made for a year for a strategic national initiative.  These conditions are that the financial assistance be spent in accordance with guidelines determined by the Ministerial Council, and, in the case of a payment to a State, the conditions specified in Part 2 of the Act.  The payment may be made on any other terms and conditions set out in a written agreement with the State or other person, or, if there is no agreement, on any other terms and conditions determined by the Minister.

 

Subclause 30(2) provides that a determination made under paragraph 30(1)(a) or subparagraph 30(1)(c)(ii) is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as such determinations are not legislative instruments within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

 

Clause 31 – Application of this Part to notional payments

 

Provides that a reference in Part 3 to a payment of financial assistance under the Act to a person other than a State includes a reference to a notional payment of financial assistance to an Agency, or part of an Agency.

 

 

 


 

Part 4 – Repayments

 

Clause 32 – Statutory condition or condition of agreement not fulfilled

 

Subclause 32(1) provides that it is a condition of the payment of financial assistance to a State under Part 2 of the Act that, if the State does not fulfil a condition in respect of the payment within the required time or within any further period that the Minister allows, the State will, if the Minister so determines, repay to the Commonwealth the amounts stated in the determination. 

 

Subclause 32(4) provides that ‘required time’ is defined as the time by which the State is required to fulfil the condition under Division 2 of Part 2; under the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement; or under the bilateral agreement to which the State is a party.

 

If the State does not fulfil a condition of payment, the Minister may make a determination reducing one or more payments of financial assistance under the Act to the State.  The Minister may also delay the making of any further payment under the Act to the State until the condition is fulfilled.

 

Subclause 32(2) provides that the amount determined by the Minister under paragraph 32(1)(a) must not be more than the sum of the payments mentioned in section 5 of the Act.

 

Subclause 32(3) provides that a determination made under paragraph 32(1)(a) is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as such a determination is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

 

Clause 33 – Overpayments

 

Subclause 33(1) provides that a condition of the payment of financial assistance to a State or to another person is that, if the amount of financial assistance paid under the Act to the State or to the other person exceeds the amount that was properly authorised to be paid, the State or the other person will, if the Minister so determines, pay to the Commonwealth an amount (not more than the excess) stated in the determination.

 

Subclause 33(2) provides that a determination made under subsection 33(1) is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as such a determination is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 


 

Clause 34 – Minister’s power if amount repayable

 

Subclauses 34(1) and (2) provide that the Minister may make a determination reducing an amount that is authorised to be paid under the Act to a State or to another person for a year if, under a condition of the payment, the Minister determines that the State or other person is to pay an amount to the Commonwealth, and all or part of that amount remains unpaid.  The amount of the reduction must not be more than the amount unpaid.

 

Subclause 34(3) provides that a determination made under subsection 34(1) is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as such a determination is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

 

Clause 35 – Amount payable to the Commonwealth is a debt

 

Provides that an amount payable by a State or by a person other than a State to the Commonwealth under the Act is a debt due by the State or that person (as the case may be) to the Commonwealth.

 

 

Clause 36 – Determinations requiring repayments

 

Provides that if the Minister is considering whether to make a determination in relation to a State under paragraph 32(1)(a) (requiring repayment of a specified amount for failure to fulfil a condition of financial assistance), or a determination in relation to a State or another person under subsection 33(1) (regarding an overpayment), the Minister must take into account all relevant matters.  ‘Relevant matters’ include whether the State or other person gave all relevant information to the Commonwealth before the payment of financial assistance was made.

 

 


 

Part 5 – Amount of payments

 

Clause 37 – Limit on payments

 

Subclause 37(1) provides that the total of the amounts of financial assistance determined under sections 5 and 27 for a year must not be more than the amount set out in the table for the year.  The table sets out amounts for the years 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

 

Subclause 37(2) provides for the amount specified in column 2 of item 1 of the table in subsection (1) to be increased by an amount equal to the amount of money vested in the Commonwealth under item 2 of Schedule 1 to the Skilling Australia’s Workforce (Repeal and Transitional Provisions) Act 2005.

 

Subclauses 37(3) and 37(4) provide that regulations may make provision for increasing the amounts referred to in subsection (1) by reference to changes in an index determined in writing by the Minister administering the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.  The regulations have effect according to their terms.

 

Subclause 37(5) provides that a determination made under subsection (3) is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as such a determination is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

Subclause 37(6) clarifies that a reference in the Act to the amount applicable under this section for a year is a reference to the amount specified in column 2 of the table in subsection (1) for that year, as increased under subsection (2) or (3).

 


 

Part 6 – Miscellaneous

 

Clause 38 – Minister may determine amounts and times of payment of financial assistance

 

Provides that amounts of financial assistance authorised to be paid under the Act are to be paid in such a way, and at such times, as the Minister determines, including payment by instalments.

 

Subclause 38(2) provides that a determination made under subsection (1) is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as such a determination is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

 

Clause 39 – Payment reduced for false or misleading statement

 

This clause deals with the consequences of false or misleading statements made by a State or another person. 

 

Subclause 39(1) provides that if a person has made a statement about a payment of financial assistance for the purposes of the Act, the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement or a bilateral agreement, to either the Minister, the Secretary or an APS employee in the Department, and the statement was false or misleading in a material particular, and relying on the statement, a payment has been made of an amount that, in the Minister’s opinion, exceeds the amount that would have been authorised to be paid if the statement had not been false or misleading, then the Minister may make a determination reducing by the amount of the excess any amount payable under the Act to the State or to the other person.

 

Subclause 39(2) provides that a determination made under section 39 may take effect from a day before the day on which the determination was made.

 

Subclause 39(3) provides that a determination made under subsection (1) is not a legislative instrument.  This provision is included to assist readers, as such a determination is not a legislative instrument within the meaning of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

 

Clause 40 – Appropriation

 

Provides that the Consolidated Revenue Fund is appropriated for the purposes of the Act.

 


 

Clause 41 – Authority to borrow

 

Provides that the Treasurer may, from time to time, in accordance with the provisions of the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1911, or in accordance with the provisions of an Act authorising the issue of Treasury Bills, borrow amounts totalling not more than the sum of the amounts that may become payable under sections 5 and 27 of the Act.

 

 

Clause 42 – Determinations etc.

 

Subclauses 42(1) and (2) provide that a determination under the Act must be in writing and that, subject to subsection 39(2), a determination takes effect on the day stated for the purposes in the determination or, if no day is stated, the day on which it is made. 

 

Subclause 42(3) provides that if a provision of the Act refers to a determination made or other act or thing done by the Minister; and no other provision of this Act expressly authorises the Minister to make such a determination or do such an act or thing, then this subsection authorises the Minister to make such a determination or do such an act or thing.

 

 

Clause 43 – Delegation

 

Provides that the Minister may, by written instrument, delegate all or any of the Minister’s powers and functions under the Act or under an agreement referred to in the Act to the Secretary of the Department, or an SES employee in the Department.

 

 

Clause 44 – Annual national report

 

Subclause 44(1) requires the Minister to prepare a draft annual national report for a year as soon as practicable after the end of each year. 

 

Subclause 44(2) sets out the information that the draft annual national report must include.  The report must include the financial assistance (if any) paid under the Act to a State for the year for the purposes of:

·      capital expenditure for vocational education and training; and

·      recurrent expenditure for vocational education and training; and

·      strategic national initiatives.

 

The report must also include the financial assistance (if any) paid under this Act to persons other than States for the year for strategic national initiatives; and the performance of the national training system for the year in terms of the objects set out in section 4 of the Act and the matters covered in the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement.

 

The draft annual national report must be in accordance with the form approved by the Ministerial Council, and the Minister must submit the draft report to the Ministerial Council within 6 months of the end of the year.

 

Subclause 44(6) provides that the Minister must cause an annual national report, representing the draft annual national report, as approved, or as amended and approved, by the Ministerial Council to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after it is received by the Minister from the Ministerial Council.

 

 

Clause 45 – Presentation of Agreement to Parliament

 

Provides that the Minister must cause a copy of the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement, and any amendment of that agreement, to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the agreement is made or amended.

 

 

Clause 46 – Publication of Agreement on Internet

 

Requires the Minister to publish the Skilling Australia’s Workforce Agreement, and any amendment of that agreement, on the Department’s website within 15 sitting days of either House of the Parliament after the agreement is made or amended.

 

 

Clause 47 – Regulations

 

Provides that the Governor-General may make regulations prescribing all matters required or permitted by the Act to be prescribed, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act.