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Amendment to the Startup Year and Other Measures Bill 2023

I rise today with a small but important amendment to the Education Legislation Amendment (Startup Year and Other Measures) Bill 2023. One of the important objectives of this bill is to create a new form of higher education loan program or HELP assistance, currently known in the bill as the SY-HELP loans—SY for 'startup year'. These loans will help students build skills in an area of great importance to Australia and its future prosperity. The loans will support the participation of final year undergraduate students, current postgrad students and recent graduates in accelerator program courses at Australian universities and Australian colleges. Hopefully they will be successful and go on to become as well known as HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP.

I think the understanding of what these loans are for will be improved by having a name which more directly references the kinds of courses for which they will be available. My amendment proposes that the loans currently referred to in the bill as 'SY-HELP' be termed 'Start-up-HELP.' This will make clear at a glance what the loans refer to and help make accessing these loans more user friendly. I have discussed these changes with the government, and I understand that they will support this amendment, which will make it easier for students interested in undertaking startup year programs. I commend the amendment to the House.