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Notice given 23 September 2002

663  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—(a) Can a list of all capital equipment acquisition projects that currently involve the posting of personnel overseas be provided; and (b) for each project can the following details be provided: (i) the name of the project, (ii) the budget for the project, (iii) the number of personnel currently posted overseas, (iv) the maximum number of the personnel posted overseas, (v) the date personnel were first posted overseas, (vi) the role of the personnel posted overseas, and (vii) the total cost to date for the posting of the personnel overseas.

664  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 2889 (House of Representatives Hansard , 22 June 1998, p. 5112):

(1) What is the: (a) peacetime establishment; and (b) current staffing strength, of each unit in the Australian Army.

(2) What is the: (a) peacetime establishment; and (b) current staffing strength, of each unit in the Royal Australian Air Force.

(3) What is the: (a) peacetime establishment; and (b) current staffing strength, of each unit in the Royal Australian Navy.

665  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 2889 (House of Representatives Hansard , 22 June 1998, p. 5112):

(1) Given the Government’s claim that, as a result of the reform program, the proportion of ‘combat-related positions’ in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will increase to approximately 65 per cent, what is the definition of ‘combat-related positions’, for the purposes of this claim.

(2) Can the following information be provided as at each of the following dates: (a) 30 June 1996; (b) 30 June 1998; (c) 30 June 2000; and (d) 30 June 2002: (i) the number of personnel in combat-related positions, as defined, and (ii) the total number of personnel in the ADF.

666  Senator Harris: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) (a) For each month of the years ending 31 December 2000 and 31 December 2002 and of the period 1 January to 30 June 2002, and as a total for each year and for the period 1 January to 30 June 2002: how many vehicles with four wheels were issued import approvals under the Low Volume Scheme; and (b) can these details be broken down by vehicle category.

(2) (a) For each month of the years ending 31 December 2000 and 31 December 2002 and of the period 1 January to 30 June 2002, and as a total for each year and for the period 1 January to 30 June 2002: how many compliance plates were issued import approvals under the Low Volume Scheme; and (b) can these details be broken down by vehicle category.

(3) For the years ending 31 December 2000 and 31 December 2001 and for the period 1 January to 30 June 2002, what was the average age of Low Volume Scheme vehicles at the date of importation, and what was the percentage of each year of the total number.

667  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) Was the inclusion of meningococcal C vaccine on the national vaccination program recommended by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation prior to the announcement of the Government on 20 August 2002.

(2) (a) At the time the Government made the announcement relating to meningococcal C vaccine, what other vaccines had the advisory group either formally recommended or otherwise indicated for inclusion in the national vaccination program; and (b) which priorities had the advisory group assigned to each of those vaccines.

(3) What is the annual cost of each of the vaccines recommended or considered by the advisory group for inclusion in the national vaccination program.

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

(1) How many White Card holders are: (a) Australian veterans; (b) Commonwealth and allied ex-servicemen; and (c) serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel.

(2) What sums have been reimbursed by: (a) the Government of the United Kingdom; and (b) other governments, for White Card health services in each of the past 3 years.

(3) For ADF personnel with White Cards, what arrangements are in place between the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Department of Defence for the payment of medical costs resulting from overseas service covered by the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 .

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

(1) By state, how many nursing homes or hostels owned or operated by ex-service organisations have been served notice by the Department of Health and Ageing that the facilities inspected are substandard.

(2) How many licences have been: (a) suspended; and (b) restored.

(3) What grants have been paid to ex-service organisations in each of the past 3 years for the upgrading of facilities.

670  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—How many Commonwealth and allied veterans, by country, in receipt of a service pension have returned to their countries of origin and continued to receive payment.

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

(1) For each of the past 3 years, on how many occasions have veterans been refused admission to each of the former repatriation hospitals.

(2) For each hospital, how many complaints about service have been received in each year since its sale or transfer.

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

(1) What advice is provided to Gold Card holders about the availability of after-hours services in their locality.

(2) How many local medical officers (LMOs) provide an after-hours or home visit service to Gold Card holders.

(3) What obligation is there for LMOs to provide an after-hours service to Gold Card holders.

(4) What arrangements, if any, exist with after-hours clinics for the acceptance of Gold Cards.

(5) For each month in 2002, to date, how many Gold Card holders, by state, have received treatment from public hospitals.

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

(1) Does the department prepare: (a) advice letters for the Minister’s signature to government members and senators advising them of grants made under all grants programs; and (b) draft media releases on the same subject for use by government members and senators

(2) Is similar advice prepared for any non-government member or senator.

(3) How many such letters have been prepared in each of the past 3 years.

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

(1) With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 569, part (1) (House of Representatives Hansard , 20 August 2002, p. 5291): What are the same details for each electorate in all other states.

(2) In all states, which government and non-government members and senators have been advised of such visits, and on how many occasions, in each of the past 3 years.

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

(1) Did the Office of Australian War Graves, in its evidence to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee on 22 February 2002, claim that the tight time frame for the completion of the war memorial in London was the reason for not openly tendering for the selection of a fountain designer.

(2) Is the failure of that selected designer the reason for the delay in the construction of the project by 12 months.

(3) Will tenders be called for a replacement designer; if so: (a) what are the tender specifications; (b) have tenders been called; (c) when do tenders close; and (d) when will the likely replacement be selected.

(4) With reference to the Minister’s press release of 20 August 2002, which states that tenders will be called for design and construction: Is this intended to be one contract.

(5) In addition to the now cancelled contract with Mr Woodward: (a) what other contracts for design were entered into; (b) with whom; and (c) at what cost.

(6) Have other contracts been terminated; if so: (a) under what conditions; and (b) at what cost to the budget.

(7) Is there any legal action in train or pending; if so: (a) from which parties; and (b) on what grounds.

(8) What provision will be made in the design to recognise other joint war efforts between Australian and British servicemen, including the Boer War and south-east Asia.

(9) Will any recognition be made of the hundreds of thousands of Australian horses sent, never to return.

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

(1) What was the actual amount: (a) estimated; and (b) saved, for each savings proposal in each of the past 5 budgets.

(2) In instances where savings were not achieved as estimated: (a) what supplementary funding was provided to cover the shortfall; and (b) by what means.

677  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 463 (Senate Hansard , 16 September 2002, p. 4182):

(1) Can updated figures on the number of reimbursements be provided.

(2) Can the following information be provided for the past month: (a) the reasons for reimbursement; and (b) the number of reimbursements for each of those reasons.

(3) For those reimbursements in the past month relating to Gold Cards being refused: (a) how many doctors; and (b) how many veterans, were involved in those reimbursements.

(4) Can a summary be provided of the electorates in which those veterans receiving reimbursements live.

678  Senator Webber: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) When will legislation be introduced that will allow for workers to be paid their entitlements ahead of banks and other creditors.

(2) Will that legislation apply to any current liquidations.

(3) In the case of Computerised Holdings Pty Ltd, did the liquidator identify the cause of liquidation as being insolvent trading; if so, why did the Australian Securities and Investment Commission not prosecute.

(5) What are the criteria being used for making claims against the liquidator in the case of Computerised Holdings.

(6) Is it intended that legal advice be sought on any distribution of assets ahead of the payment of workers’ entitlements.

679  Senator Webber: To ask the Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer—

(1) What is the anticipated cost of the decision to allow a corporate group to transfer losses and be taxed as a single entity.

(2) Is there any truth to the claim by some mining executives that this new arrangement will allow them to unlock $11 billion in losses and enjoy a tax holiday for 20 years.

(3) Is it true that, under these new arrangements, businesses will be able to revalue all assets to ‘market value’ without having to pay capital gains tax on the revaluations.

(4) Is it true that for depreciation purposes the new ‘market value’ can be used as an expense over the estimated useful life of the asset.