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Tuesday, 16 September 2003
Page: 15355


Senator Webber asked the Minister for Family and Community Services, upon notice, on 20 June 2003:

(1) For the state of Western Australia, for each of the financial years ending 30 June 1997, 30 June 1998, 30 June 1999, 30 June 2000, 30 June 2001 and 30 June 2002: what was the proportion of total Centrelink debt incurred for each of the following benefit categories: (a) age pension; (b) Austudy; (c) disability support pension; (d) Newstart allowance; (e) parenting payment; (f) partner allowance; (g) youth allowance; (i) carer allowance; and (j) family tax benefit.

(2) For the state of Western Australia, by local government authority: (a) what is the total number of debts incurred for each of the benefits listed above; and (b) what is the average amount of these debts for each of the benefits.


Senator Vanstone (Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) For the state of Western Australia the proportion of debts by benefit category for the financial year ending 30 June 1999 was:

(a) Age Pension 5.5 per cent; (b) Austudy 1.2 per cent; (c) Disability Support Pension 3.6 per cent; (d) Newstart Allowance 32.3 per cent (e) Parenting Payment 22.4 per cent (f) Partner Allowance 1.1 per cent; (g) Youth Allowance 7.8 per cent (i) Carer Allowance 0.3 per cent (j) Family Tax Benefit - not applicable.

For the financial year ending 30 June 2000 was:

(a) Age Pension 4.5 per cent; (b) Austudy 1.1 per cent; (c) Disability Support Pension 3.4 per cent; (d) Newstart Allowance 32.5 per cent, (e) Parenting Payment 22.1 per cent, (f) Partner Allowance 1.2 per cent; (g) Youth Allowance 11.3 per cent (i) Carer Allowance 0.8 per cent (j) Family Tax Benefit - not applicable.

For the financial year ending 30 June 2001 was:

(a) Age Pension 7.1 per cent; (b) Austudy 1.1 per cent; (c) Disability Support Pension 5.0 per cent; (d) Newstart Allowance 31.1 per cent (e) Parenting Payment 20.4 per cent (f) Partner Allowance 1.5 per cent; (g) Youth Allowance 11.1 per cent (i) Carer Allowance 0.9 per cent (j) Family Tax Benefit 10.6 per cent.

For the financial year ending 30 June 2002 was:

(a) Age Pension 5.2 per cent; (b) Austudy 0.7 per cent; (c) Disability Support Pension 3.7 per cent; (d) Newstart Allowance 19.5 per cent (e) Parenting Payment 15.1 per cent (f) Partner Allowance 0.9 per cent; (g) Youth Allowance 7.0 per cent (i) Carer Allowance 0.8 per cent (j) Family Tax Benefit 36.8 per cent.

The honourable member should be aware that the list of payments given was not exhaustive, and in particular Family Tax Benefit was not paid before the 2000/2001 financial year. Information pertaining to the financial year ending 30 June 1998 is not readily available in consolidated form. I do not consider it appropriate for the expenditure of resources and effort that would be involved in collecting and assembling information for the sole purpose of answering questions of this nature.

(2) For the state of Western Australia by Local Government Authority:

The detailed information required to answer the honourable member's question is not readily available in consolidated form. I do not consider it appropriate for the expenditure of resources and effort that would be involved in collecting and assembling information for the sole purpose of answering questions of this nature.