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Tuesday, 14 February 2006
Page: 222

Mr McClelland asked the Minister for Human Services, in writing, on 1 December 2005:

Which Medicare offices have been opened since 10 October 1997 and what were the criteria applied to determine the location of these Medicare offices.

Mr Hockey (Minister for Human Services) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The Medicare offices which have opened since 10 October 1997 are:

  • Rosebud, VIC opened for business 24 June 2004
  • Fountain Gate, VIC opened for business 5 July 2004
  • Palmerston, NT opened for business 2 March 2005
  • Leichhardt, NSW opened for business 3 March 2005
  • Joondalup, WA opened for business 3 March 2005
  • Elanora, QLD opened for business 16 March 2005
  • Cranbourne, VIC opened for business 17 March 2005
  • Tuggerah, NSW opened for business 22 June 2005
  • Maroochydore, QLD opened for business 8 August 2005
  • Wynnum, QLD opened for business 8 August 2005
  • Gungahlin, ACT opened for business 19 September 2005
  • Tuncurry, NSW opened for business 2 November 2005

Factors which were considered to determine these locations included:

1. The availability of other claiming lodgement methods such as: Medicare Australia Access Points and Medicare Australia Online claiming.

2. The cost of establishing and maintaining new Medicare offices.

3. The proximity to other Medicare offices and the potential impact a new office might have on the workload of other Medicare offices.

4. The current bulk billing level in the area.

5. The volume of claims lodged by customers in the area and the nature and level of different types of billing by doctors in the area.

6. Suitable site for the Medicare office - considerations include transport and security of staff and customers.