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Notice given 20 December 2002

*1041  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—With reference to the Adelaide Class Guided Missile Frigates (FFGs):

(1) When did each of the six FFGs enter service.

(2) (a) What was the cost of each of the FFGs; and (b) what is the estimated current value of each of the FFGs.

(3) Have any of the FFGs had upgrades over their life to date; if so, what was the nature of the upgrades to each of the FFGs.

(4) (a) When was the current combat system software currently fitted to each FFG; and (b) has this software been upgraded at any stage during the life of each FFG.

(5) What are the limitations of the combat system software that is currently fitted to the FFGs.

(6) Do the limitations in the current combat system software make the FFGs more vulnerable to attack.

*1042  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Has the decision been made to relocate the RAAF Training College from Point Cook and Edinburgh; if so: (a) when was this decision made; and (b) why.

(2) Where will be the RAAF Training College be relocated.

(3) What amount, if any, has been spent on the relocation so far.

(4) What is the total amount allocated to the relocation in each of the following financial years: (a) 2002-03; and (b) 2003-04.

(5) (a) What is the estimated cost of transferring all staff and students of the RAAF Training College; and (b) what are the numbers of staff and students across the whole training college.

(6) Has any part of the RAAF Training College moved yet (for example, the Training College Headquarters, the Officer Training School and the School of Post Graduate Studies); if so, which parts have moved and when; if not, when will the move of each part be made.

(7) What use will be made of the RAAF training facilities at Point Cook and Edinburgh after the training college has been relocated.

(8) When were the training facilities at Point Cook and Edinburgh: (a) built; and (b) last enhanced or upgraded.

(9) Is any part of either of these bases proposed to be sold; if so, when will they be advertised and for how much.

(10) Will all students of the RAAF Training College be accommodated on-base at the new location.

(11) How many people will the new accommodation house.

(12) Has a decision been made to move the Recruit Training Unit of the RAAF Training College; if so, where to and why.

(13) How many staff and students are there at the Recruit Training Unit of the RAAF Training College.

(14) What is the estimated cost of their relocation.

(15) What is the total amount allocated to the relocation of the Recruit Training Unit in each of the following financial years: (a) 2002-03; and (b) 2003-04.

*1043  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—

(1) With reference to the department’s additional estimates for the 2002-03 financial year, what is the estimated net increase in service pension claimants, both age and invalidity, as shown in Appendix 2, by category: (a) WWII; (b) Korea and south-east Asia; (c) Vietnam; (d) Commonwealth and Allied by country of origin; and (e) other, by deployment.

(2) What were the end of year numbers in payments, in those same categories, for each of the past 3 years.

(3) (a) What reasons are attributed for this growth; and (b) why were the forward estimates so wrong.

(4) (a) What precisely were the changes in parameters; and (b) how do they differ from those used in the forward estimates.

(5) What has been the growth in medical consultations of: (a) general practitioners; (b) specialists; and (c) other, by specialty, which has caused the overspending against the estimate of $20.5 million, as shown on page 39 of the department’s portfolio additional estimates statement for 2002-03.

(6) What proportion of those services were to: (a) Gold Card holders; and (b) White Card holders.

(7) (a) What are the elements of the $16 million overspend shown against ‘other medical expenses’ on page 39, as well as the attributed expenditure to each; and (b) what are the reasons for the shortfall in funding for each item.

(8) What have been the causes of the increase of $22 million above the estimates for residential care, and why was the estimate so far out.

(9) What analysis, if any, has been done of the impact of the overspend by the Homecare program.

(10) (a) What is the explanation for the need to increase estimates by $7 million for pharmaceuticals, as shown at page 39 of the department’s portfolio additional estimates statement for 2002-03; and (b) does this projected shortfall include allowance for the 2002-03 Budget savings items; if so, how much.

(11) Within this increase in usage, which prescribed drugs on the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme saw the highest proportional increases.

(12) Given that growth in numbers and/or usage rates are cited as reasons for changes to estimates to the value of $56 million, as the treatment population declined (see page 41) where specifically was the growth by client group and treatment type.

(13) On page 45, what elements are included under ‘other’, with actual cost increases, comprising the increase in estimates of $285 000.

(14) (a) How many claims for defective administration have there been in the 2002-03 financial year to date; and (b) what was the cost and reason for each claim in Outcome 1 and all other outcomes.

(15) Further to the answer to question on notice no. 39 from the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee estimates hearings in February 2002: (a) what sum was spent on defective administration payments in the 2001-02 financial year; (b) what was the distribution of payments by outcome and state; and (c) what was the same distribution for each of the other years listed.

*1044  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 856 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002, p. 6636) and the completion on 17 December 2002 of the coronial inquiry in Western Australia into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a police aircraft:

(1) Did the Western Australian Police Air Support Unit lodge an amended Air Support Unit operations manual and a request for a reissue of the Police Support Wing Air Operators Certificate with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for approval in early 1998; if so: (a) what was the exact date of the lodgement of the amended manual; and (b) which CASA office received the application.

(2) Were the proposed amendments approved; if so: (a) who approved the amendments; and (b) on what date were the amendments approved.

(3) If the amendments were not immediately approved: (a) what was the concern with the proposed amendments; (b) who raised those concerns; (c) when were those concerns raised with the unit; and (d) how were the concerns raised.

*1045  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question number no. 855 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002 p. 6636) and the completion on 17 December 2002 of the coronial inquiry in Western Australia into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a police aircraft, and in relation to the Western Australian Police Air Support Unit’s request to amend its Air Support Unit operations manual and for its Air Operator’s Certificate to be reissued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in early 1998:

(1) If there were concerns held by CASA officers about the proposed amended arrangements, what was the nature of those concerns.

(2) Did the CASA officers who raised concerns about the amendments to the operations manual refer those concerns to their superiors within the authority; if so: (a) to whom were those concerns referred; (b) when were those concerns referred; and (c) how were those concerns referred.

(3) If those proposed amendments to the operations manual were eventually approved: (a) who finally approved the amendments; (b) how was that information communicated to the unit; and (c) what was the name of the police officer to whom the communication was addressed.

*1046  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 854 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002, p. 6635) and the completion on 17 December 2002 of the coronial inquiry in Western Australia into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a police aircraft, and in relation to the Western Australian Police Air Support Unit’s request to amend its Air Support Unit operations manual and for its Air Operator’s Certificate to be reissued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in early 1998:

(1) (a) What were the aviation qualifications required at each level of the structure provided for by the operations manual prior to its amendment; and (b) what were the aviation qualifications required at each level of the structure provided for by the operations manual under the proposed amendments.

(2) (a) How many properly qualified pilots were included in the structure provided for in the operations manual; and (b) how many pilots were provided for in the amended version of the operations manual.

(3) (a) How many chief pilots were provided for in the unamended operations manual; and (b) how many chief pilots were provided for in the amended version of the manual.

*1047  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 853 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002, p. 6635) and the completion on 17 December 2002 of the coronial inquiry in Western Australia into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a police aircraft, and in relation to the Western Australian Police Air Support Unit operations manual and its Air Operator’s Certificate:

(1) On how many occasions since January 1998 has the unit been the subject of an audit, scheduled or unscheduled, by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

(2) On how many occasions during those audits were the qualifications of officers checked against those required by the operations manual to ensure the safe operation of the unit.

(3) In each of those audits, on how many occasions were the qualifications of officers not in compliance with the requirements of the operations manual.

(4) In each case: (a) what action did CASA take; (b) when was that action taken; (c) who took that action; and (d) what was the result of that action.

*1048  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 852 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002, p. 6635) and the completion on 17 December 2002 of the coronial inquiry in Western Australia into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a police aircraft, and in relation to the Western Australian Police Air Support Unit operations manual and its Air Operator’s Certificate: (a) on how many occasions since January 1998 has the District Flying Operations Manager raised concerns with the Officer in Charge about the safe operation of the unit; and (b) in each case: (i) what was the nature of the concern, (ii) when was the concern raised, (iii) how was the concern raised, and (iv) what action followed the concern raised by the manager.

*1049  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 851 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002, p. 6635) and the completion on 17 December 2002 of the coronial inquiry in Western Australia into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a police aircraft, and in relation to the Western Australian Police Air Support Unit: Was the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) advised of the appointment of a new Officer in Charge in January 1999; if so, how did CASA satisfy itself that the officer appointed to the position had the appropriate qualifications and experience to ensure he could meet his responsibilities under the terms of the unit’s Air Operator’s Certificate; if not, why not.

*1050  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 850 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002, p. 6634) and the completion on 17 December 2002 of the coronial inquiry in Western Australia into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a police aircraft:

(1) Is a chief pilot required to hold all appropriate licences, endorsements or ratings to cover operations authorised by an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) for which he or she is responsible; if not, in what circumstances is a chief pilot not required to hold such qualifications.

(2) If a chief pilot does not hold all necessary qualifications to cover the terms of an AOC, how does the Civil Aviation Safety Authority satisfy itself that the organisation has the necessary qualifications and experience to ensure it is able to comply with the terms of its AOC.

*1051  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 848 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002, p. 6634) and the completion on 17 December 2002 of the coronial inquiry in Western Australia into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a police aircraft:

(1) When did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) suspend the medical certificate of Mr John Brown of Bibra Lake, Western Australia.

(2) (a) What was the basis of the suspension; and (b) what procedures did CASA officers follow prior to the suspension of the above medical certificate.

(3) Was a notice to show cause issued to Mr Brown prior to the suspension of his medical certificate; if so: (a) when was that notice to show cause issued; and (b) what actions were then undertaken by CASA following the issue of that notice to show cause; if no notice to show cause was issued, what was the process followed by CASA that led to the suspension of Mr Brown’s medical certificate.

(4) Did Mr Brown advise CASA that he was on sick leave prior to the suspension of his medical certificate; if so: (a) on what date was that advice provided to CASA; (b) which CASA officer was provided with that information; (c) where was that officer located; and (d) what was that officer’s position within the authority.

(5) (a) What action was taken by the CASA officer in receipt of the advice from Mr Brown; (b) when was the action taken; and (c) when was the decision to suspend Mr Brown’s health certificate taken.

(6) If the matter was referred to other CASA officers before the decision to suspend Mr Brown’s medical certificate was taken, which other officers were involved in the assessment of Mr Brown’s circumstances and the decision to suspend his certificate.

*1052  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 847 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002, p. 6633) and the completion on 17 December 2002 of the coronial inquiry in Western Australia into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a police aircraft:

(1) Prior to CASA suspending the medical certificate of Mr John Brown, what action did CASA take to establish Mr Brown’s medical condition and its impact on his ability to meet the conditions of his licence.

(2) (a) How many medical practitioners were consulted by CASA in relation to Mr Brown’s condition; (b) what were the names of those medical practitioners; (c) what were their qualifications; and (d)  in each case, where were they practising medicine.

*1053  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 846 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002, p. 6633) and the completion on 17 December 2002 of the coronial inquiry in Western Australia into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a police aircraft, and with reference to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) instrument number 53.99/00, the Approval under Civil Aviation Order section 82.0, issued on 12 January 2000:

(1) What qualifications were required by Pilot Special Constable Pek Ha [ARN 537160] to perform the functions delegated to him.

(2) Specifically, what qualifications and experience are required to carry out pilot emergency training and testing under Civil Aviation Order 20.11 Appendix IV.

(3) (a) What processes were followed by CASA officers to satisfy themselves that Constable Pek Ha was appropriately qualified; (b) who undertook those checks; (c) when were the checks undertaken; and (d) what were the results of these checks.

(4) What were the other company standards for operations conducted under the company’s Air Operating Certificate (AOC) referred to in the above instrument.

(5) What qualifications and experience are required to satisfactorily perform these other company standards for operations conducted under the above AOC.

*1054  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 845 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002, p. 6632) and the completion on 17 December 2002 of the coronial inquiry in Western Australia into the circumstances surrounding the crash of a police aircraft:

(1) Has the Minister received any complaints regarding the operation of the Western Australian Police Air Support Unit; if so: (a) when was each complaint received; (b) what action did the Minister take following each complaint; and (c) when did the Minister take that action.

(2) If the Minister referred the above complaints to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA): (a) when was each complaint referred to CASA; (b) how was each complaint referred to CASA; and (c) to whom in CASA was each complaint referred.

(3) Did CASA undertake an investigation following the referral of each of the above complaints from the Minister; if so: (a) when did each investigation commence; (b) who undertook each investigation; (c) when was each investigation completed; and (d) who was provided with a copy of the report of the findings of the above investigations.

(4) Did any of the above reports recommend any changes to the operation of the unit; if so, in each case: (a) what were the changes recommended; (b) when were those recommendations communicated to the unit; (c)  did the unit implement all of the recommendations; and (d) when were these changes implemented by the unit.

(5) If the unit did not implement all the above recommendations, why not, and, in each case, what follow-up action was taken by CASA in response to this failure to implement the recommendations.

(6) If the Minister, or his office, was provided with a copy of the report of the above investigations: (a) when was each report provided to the Minister or his office; and (b) what action did he or his office take following receipt of the above reports.