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Thursday, 27 September 1973
Page: 1712


Mr Snedden asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

(1)   How many applications have been received for grants under the Aged Persons Hostels Act since 27 September 1972.

(2)   How many applications have been (a) approved and (b) rejected.

(3)   Can he state the main reasons for organisations not taking up their notional entitlements to free hostel beds.

(4)   What is the estimated expenditure under the scheme for its intended duration, i.e. up to 27 September 1975.

(5)   How many hostel beds is it estimated will have been provided as a result of the scheme by 27 September 1975.


Mr HAYDEN (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Thirty-six applications for grants under the Aged Persons Hostels Act were received between 27 September 1972 and 31 August 1973.

(2)   (a) Nineteen of the applications have been approved; (b) there have been no rejections. The remaining seventeen claims are under active consideration.

(3)   The main reasons for organisations not taking up their notional entitlements to free hostel beds can be summarised as follows:

(i)   Unwillingness of some voluntary organisations to assume the added responsibility of conducting hostel accommodation;

(ii)   Some towns and districts are adequately supplied with hostel accommodation and local organisations with entitlements under the Act are not prepared to extend their activities into other regions.

(4)   and (5) At this stage it is too early to estimate accurately expenditure under the Act and the number of hostel beds which will have been provided by the time the scheme expires on 27 September 1975. However, preliminary negotiations with organisations indicate that up to approximately 10,000 hostel beds could be provided at a cost of some $80m.

Aged Persons Homes Act: Personal Care Subsidy (Question No. 901)


Mr Snedden asked the Minister for Social

Security, upon notice:

What would be the cost in a financial year of extending the provisions of the personal care subsidy payable under the Aged Persons Homes Act to include hostel residents 75 years of age and over.


Mr Hayden - The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows:

It is estimated that lowering of the qualifying age for the payment of personal care subsidy from 80 years to 75 years at the present weekly rale of $10 would cost an additional $2 million in a full financial year.

Legislation now before the Parliament provides for personal care subsidy to be increased to $12 per week in respect of residents aged 80 years or more and for this subsidy to be paid also in respect of other residents of approved hostels who require and are receiving personal care services.

Public Transport Concessions for Children of Pensioners (Question No. 908)


Mr Bourchier (BENDIGO, VICTORIA) asked the Minister for Social

Security, upon notice:

(1)   Is it a fact that pensioners, who have children attending school, find it extremely difficult to meet the costs of public transport for their children.

(2)   Is it also a fact that some children of pensioners are entitled to use free transport to school but are required to pay for other travel on public transport, placing a heavy burden on their parents.

(3)   Will he take steps to extend the use of entitlement cards to cover children of pensioners attending school when they are travelling on public transport at any time to relieve the pensioner of this costly burden.


Mr Hayden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   (2) and(3) The provisions relating to concessions on public transport for school children vary quite considerably from State to State. In some States the cost is borne by the State Department of Education and in others by the State Department of Transport. In Victoria, for instance, fares for school pupils travelling on public bus and train services are fixed by the Transport Regulation Board. The Board also sets regulations relating to the operation of private bus services taking students to and from school.

The Australian Government is responsible for these services only in ACT and the Northern Territory and any information relating to these territories may be obtained from my colleague, the Minister for the Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The information relating to the position in other States should be sought from the appropriate State Departments.

Pensioner and Endowee Records: Conversion to Microfiche (Question No. 917)


Mr Snedden asked the Minister for Social

Security, upon notice:

What staff savings have been made in the Victorian offices of his Department following the conversion of pensioner and endowee records to microfiche.


Mr Hayden - The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows:

The Victorian pensioner and endowee recordsof my Department have not been converted to microfiche. However periodic continuous stationery listings of file records which were produced for index and enquiry purposes have been replaced with microfiche listings.

This innovation which was first introduced into the Victorian office during January of this year is now being progressively implemented in all States.

The changeover from the use of continuous paper lists to microfiche lists has not meant a reduction in the number of staff engaged in answering telephone and counter enquiries but it has provided significant advantages in ensuring that more up to date information is available for dealing with these inquiries, at many more inquiry points than was previously possible.







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