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Notice given 16 October 2002

799  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—

(1) Is the Minister engaged in discussions with the Queensland Government relating to the Commonwealth-state legislative frameworks and arrangements which govern World Heritage areas in that state.

(2) Are there any proposals or negotiations to draft new legislation for the management of World Heritage areas in Queensland; if so: (a) what are these proposals; and (b) how far advanced are they.

800  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—

(1) Under the Veterans’ Home Care Scheme, how often are reassessments supposed to occur.

(2) How soon after the original application and assessment, on average, by state, have reassessments been occurring.

(3) How many reassessments have been undertaken each month by each assessment agency since the inception of the scheme.

(4) Is it true that there has been a backlog of assessments; if so, does this mean that veterans have been receiving services that they would not have been receiving had reassessments occurred earlier.

(5) Have any service providers under the scheme been denied refunds; if so, what impact will this have on the services available for veterans.

(6) Have criteria for assessments been changed since the inception of the scheme; if so, in what ways.

(7) Are assessments now being refused on the basis of funding not being available rather than on the proper assessment criteria.

(8) Is the Minister aware of veterans moving from the home care scheme of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to the Department of Health and Ageing’s Home and Community Care Program (HACC); if so, (a) in how many instances has this occurred, by state; and (b) what adjustments in funding, from Home Care to HACC, have been made.

(9) Will the reduction of services impact on the incidence of veterans being admitted to nursing homes; if so, what will that impact be.

801  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—

(1) How many house insurance policies has Defence Service Homes (DSH) held, by state, in each of the past 5 years.

(2) For each state: (a) how many claims have been: (i) received, and (ii) paid, in each of the past 5 years; and (b) what was their range and average value.

(3) Of the claims rejected, what were the reasons for rejection in each case.

(4) In how many cases has the advice of the claims assessor been rejected.

(5) In how many cases have alternative and additional assessments been made of individual claims.

(6) What appeal or review mechanism exists for rejected claimants.

(7) For each state: (a) how many cases of fraud have been investigated in each of the past 5 years; and (b) how many prosecutions have been pursued.

(8) (a) How are claims assessors engaged; and (b) what qualifications are required.

(9) For each state, how many claims assessors are currently used.

(10) For each state, how many assessments have been conducted by departmental staff in each of the past 5 years.

(11) If departmental claims assessments have been made, what qualifications are required of the assessors.

(12) What percentage return does the DSH profit represent on total insured value in each of the past 5 years.

(13) What benchmarking is undertaken with private sector insurance with respect to costs and margins.

(14) Has consideration ever been given to the outsourcing of the DSH insurance function; if so: (a) when; and (b) why was it not pursued.

(15) (a) How many: (i) staff, and (ii) contractors, are currently engaged by DSH on house insurance; and (b) what are the current estimated overheads for that function for the 2001-02 financial years.

(16) Has there been any fraud investigation into the activity and conduct of DSH staff members in the Brisbane office of the department; if so: (a) what were the findings; and (b) what action has been taken.

802  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—

(1) For each state, how many insurance policies for household contents for veteran clients are current under the contract with QBE Mercantile Mutual.

(2) What fee has been paid to QBE for each year of its contract.

(3) What other operating costs are incurred by the department over and above the fee to QBE.

(4) For each state: (a) how many claims have been made and paid out; and (b) what was the average value in each of the past 3 years.

(5) For each of the past 3 years, how many claims of fraud have been: (a) claimed; and (b) prosecuted.

803  Senator Crossin: To ask the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women—With reference to the Partnerships Against Domestic Violence (PADV) Program:

(1) Is Dr Tricia Szirom involved with the two companies known as Success Works and Strategic Partners, as an owner, director or employee.

(2) What is Dr Tricia Szirom’s relationship to these companies.

(3) What is the connection between these two companies.

(4) Is Success Works a subsidiary of Strategic Partners.

(5) (a) Is the Minister aware that, during Senate estimates hearings in June 2002, Ms Bentley advised the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee that the Success Works company was the appointed evaluator of the meta-evaluation of the PADV; and (b) can the Minister confirm whether this is the case or whether Strategic Partners is contracted to do the meta-evaluation rather than Success Works.

(6) What amount has been budgeted for and paid to Dr Tricia Szirom as a consultant.

(7) What amount has been budgeted for and paid to Strategic Partners from the PADV.

(8) What amount has been budgeted for and paid to Success Works from the PADV.

(9) Was Dr Tricia Szirom paid as a facilitator or for a consultancy for the PADV conference in Perth in December 2001.

(10) What was the total amount paid to Dr Szirom for her work at the conference in Perth in December 2001.

(11) Was Dr Szirom paid $2 500 per day plus expenses during this conference.

(12) Has Dr Szirom been contracted by the Office of the Status of Women (OSW) to undertake capacity building workshops nationally.

(13) What amount has been budgeted for and paid to Dr Szirom for the capacity building workshops.

(14) What amount has been budgeted for and paid to Dr Szirom through Strategic Partners for the meta-evaluation.

(15) (a) Has Success Works gained the tender to be the ‘Project Manager’ of the ‘PADV Children’s Projects’; and (b) what is the total amount of this tender.

(16) How is Strategic Partners (the meta-evaluator of the PADV) going to evaluate the work of Success Works (the project manager of the PADV Children’s Projects) when both companies have close links with each other.

(17) Who are the directors and stakeholders of Success Works and Strategic Partners, respectively.

(18) Has Dr Szirom been contracted in the 2002-03 financial year for PADV 2 rather than PADV 1.

(19) Regarding the PADV children’s projects, have organisations or businesses that lodged a tender been informed either by phone or in writing that they were unsuccessful; if so, on what date was this done.

(20) Who has been awarded the tender for the children’s projects.

(21) Who has been awarded the tender for the perpetrators’ projects.

(22) Who has been awarded the tender for the project management of the women’s services projects.

(23) Given that under PADV 1 a major project was the Community Awareness Project, can the Minister provide a summary of the implementation of this project.

(24) (a) Following the development of the National Domestic Violence Competency Standards, who won the tender to develop the curriculum development for these standards; and (b) given that these competencies need to be delivered in an appropriate way, why are they available on the Australian National Training Authority’s web site for any registered training organisation to take and deliver.

(25) How many PADV publications have been produced by OSW since the project was first funded.

(26) What is the total cost of these publications.

804  Senator Crossin: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment Services—

(1) How many people are receiving intensive assistance via Job Network in the federal electorate of Solomon.

(2) How many unemployed people in Solomon have received intensive assistance since the introduction of Job Network on 1 May 1998.

(3) (a) What is the total sum of funding support received by Job Network members in Solomon for intensive assistance; and (b) can a breakdown of this figure for each of the Job Network members be provided.

(4) What have the employment outcomes been for people on intensive assistance in Solomon since 1998.

(5) How many of these employment outcomes have resulted in: (a) full-time work; (b) part-time work; (c) casual work; (d) seasonal work; and (e) contract work.

(6) How many people receiving intensive assistance in Solomon have entered into traineeships or apprenticeships.

(7) What processes are in place to ensure that Job Network members are accountable for the Commonwealth funds they receive.

(8) Have Job Network members refused to reveal any details of the funds they receive from the Commonwealth for placing job seekers into employment; if so, how can job seekers be assured that Job Network members are providing the full range of services that they are entitled to receive.

805  Senator Crossin: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) How many medical services provided a bulk-billing service in the federal electorate of Solomon in each of the following years: (a) 1996; (b) 2001; and (c) 2002.

(2) How many medical services were there in the federal electorate of Solomon in each of the following years: (a) 1996; (b) 2001; and (c) 2002.

806  Senator Crossin: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment Services—

(1) How many ‘Work for the Dole’ activities have occurred in the federal electorate of Solomon.

(2) How many people have participated in these activities.

(3) How many people have been successful in gaining full-time employment at the completion of: (a) 3 months; (b) 6 months; and (c) 12 months, of Work for the Dole placements.