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Notice given 27 November 2002

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

(1) In each of the past 12 months how many payments have been made to specialist doctors for treatment provided under the Repatriation Private Patient Scheme (RPPS) to: (a) Gold Card holders; and (b) White Card holders.

(2) Can the following information be provided: (a) the total monthly figure for services to Gold Card and White Card holders divided according to the specialty of the doctors; and (b) the number of doctors in each specialty who received payments.

(3) For each of those doctors who have received payments under the RPPS in the past 12 months, how many payments were received each month.

(3) For each of the past 12 months: (a) how many doctors in each specialty and how many specialists in total have received payment for services provided under the RPPS; and (b) how many payments have been received in total by specialty.

*969  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Will the Minister state whether the Australian Navy or other navies using Australian waters are deploying low frequency active sonar.

(2) What is the Federal Government’s position on the deployment of low frequency active sonar in Australian waters.

*970  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—Will the Minister introduce legislation for a protocol which requires, where possible, all stranded cetaceans to be necropsied with particular attention paid to the ears and lungs so that sonar causes can be eliminated or proven.

*971  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—In relation to the stranding of nine sperm whales near Waterhouse Point, in Tasmania:

(1) Who is undertaking seismic surveys in the Otway Basin off western Victoria and South Australia.

(2) Did the company or companies involved submit an environmental impact statement (EIS) in order to carry out this work.

(3) Did the company or companies have to submit any other environmental studies to comply with Commonwealth legislation in order to carry out this seismic survey; if so: (a) what legislation was applicable; and (b) can copies of those studies be provided.

(4) Was Environment Australia (EA) notified that this survey work was to be carried out.

(5) Did EA insist on any EIS.

(6) Was EA or the Minister aware that the seismic survey would use signals up to 240dB.

(7) Is the Minister aware of the preliminary injunction issued in a San Francisco Court against the United States Navy over the deployment of low frequency active sonar.

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

(1) Are veterans and war widows still entitled to access the Respite Care Program administered by the Department of Health and Ageing; if so: (a) for each quarter in the past 3 years, how many veterans and widows used that program; and (b) what was the annual cost.

(2) For each quarter of each of the 2001-02 financial year and the 2002-03 financial year to date: (a) how many veterans and widows received respite care from the Veterans’ Home Care (VHC) Scheme; and (b) what was the cost per quarter.

(3) How many veterans and widows have transferred from respite care services provided under the VHC to the Health and Ageing Respite Care Program.

(4) What are the existing guidelines for respite care as to which program, either VHC or Health and Ageing, veterans’ respite care is to be charged to.

(5) (a) For each quarter in the past 3 years, how many veterans and widows received services provided by the Community Nursing Program of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA); and (b) what was the annual cost.

(6) In each quarter of the past 2 years, how many veterans have been transferred from VHC personal care to DVA’s Community Nursing Program.

(7) (a) What is the source of the $6 million additional funding for providers with respect to respite care and community nursing, announced in the Minister’s media release of 4 November 2002; and (b) is it part of the $8 million additional spending estimated for the 2002-03 financial year, or is it an estimate of increased usage from the pre-existing standing appropriation for community nursing.

(8) Where is this $6 million shown in the DVA Estimates.