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Notice given 7 May 2003

1431  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—In relation to Defence property sales:

(1) For each financial year since 1996-97, what were the Budget forecasts of receipts from Defence property sales.

(2) For each financial year since 1996-97, what were the actual receipts from Defence property sales.

(3) For each financial year from 1996-97 to 1999-2000 (inclusive) can a list be provided of all property sold by Defence, in the same format as the answer to question no. W10 taken on notice during the estimates hearings of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee in February 2002, indicating the location (town/suburb, state/territory, postcode), size of the property, nature of the property (vacant land, facilities), sale price and purchaser.

1432  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—In relation to the United States of America (US) Air Force Global Hawk Program, the US Department of Defense Selected Acquisition Report for the December 2002 quarter notes that the cost of the program has decreased by $US1 031.7 million (-15.1%) from $US6 846.6 million to $US5 814.9 million: Given that the cost of the US Global Hawk Program has decreased by such a significant amount, why did the answer to parts 10 and 11 of question on notice no. 1183 make the following claim, ‘The “cost blowouts” referred to in the article in the Australian relate to cost increases associated with the United States Air Force Global Hawk Program’.

1433  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—In relation to the answer to part 6 of question on notice no. 1185, which indicated the rent paid in the initial year of the leases for four Defence properties, that were sold and leased back in the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years: Is the rent paid in the first year indexed in the second and subsequent years of the leases (as per the arrangement that applies in the lease for the Defence National Stores Distribution Centre, Moorebank site that was sold and leased back in March 2003); if so, what level of annual indexation applies under each of the leases referred to in the answer to part 6.

1434  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Finance and Administration—

(1) What former Defence property, including ex-ADI sites, does ComLand currently own; can a list be provided indicating the location (town/suburb, state/territory, postcode), size of the property, and nature of the property (vacant land, facilities).

(2) Is it intended that any of these properties will be sold; if so: (a) which properties are to be sold; and (b) on what dates are the sales expected to occur.

1435  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Why is it that Defence was able to provide comprehensive information on sales and sale prices in the answer to question no. W10, taken on notice during the estimates hearings of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee in February 2002, yet refused to provide the sale price for the Defence National Storage and Distribution Centre (NSDC) at Moorebank on the basis that it was ‘commercial-in-confidence’ (answer to part 4 of question on notice no. 1190).

(2) On what basis is the sale price of the NSDC at Moorebank considered ‘commercial-in-confidence’ even after the sale has occurred.

1436  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—In relation to the sale and leaseback of the Campbell Park Offices:

(1) When was the decision taken to sell and lease back Campbell Park Offices, Australian Capital Territory.

(2) When was the property sold.

(3) Which organisation purchased the property.

(4) What was the sale price for the property.

(5) (a) What rent did Defence pay for Campbell Park Offices in the first year of the lease; and (b) what rent will be paid in the second and subsequent years of the lease.

1437  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—In relation to the sale of the former Brighton Army Barracks in Tasmania:

(1) When was the decision taken to sell the Brighton Army Barracks.

(2) When was the property sold.

(3) Which organisation purchased the property.

(4) What was the sale price for the property.

(5) (a) What is the total value of all building works that have been carried out at the Brighton Army Barracks site over the past 5 financial years; and (b) can a full breakdown of these works be provided.

(6) Has the Tasmanian State Valuer-General made any valuation on the property at any time in the past 5 financial years; if so: (a) when was the valuation undertaken; and (b) what was the estimated value (for each valuation if more than one valuation occurred).

(7) What is the estimated value of rehabilitation works that will have to be undertaken at the property.

1438  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—For the 2001-02 financial year can a list be provided of all property sold by Defence, in the same format as the answer to question no. W10 taken on notice during the estimates hearings of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee in February 2002, indicating the location (town/suburb, state/territory, postcode), size of the property, nature of the property (vacant land, facilities), sale price and purchaser.

1439  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) Can a progress report be provided on the National Meningococcal C Vaccine Program.

(2) Is it the case that a report from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) in October 2002 recommended that a program of pneumococcal, meningococcal type C, injectable polio and chicken pox vaccines be funded.

(3) Is it the case that the department, in consultation with ATAGI, initially recommended that $47.5 million be spent on a targeted meningococcal type C vaccine program.

(4) Can a copy of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s consultation report into ATAGI’s recommendations, ‘National Health and Medical Research Council public consultation report into the draft 8th edition of the Australian Immunisation Handbook’ be provided; if not, why not.

(5) Why did the Government ignore expert advice and proceed with a universal meningococcal type C vaccine program in all states at a cost of $250 million, in spite of the fact that meningococcal type C disease is only prevalent in a limited number of geographic locations.

(6) As a result of this decision, is it now the case that the funding of the other essential vaccines recommended by ATAGI in October will be deferred indefinitely.

(7) Is one of the reasons the ATAGI recommended funding for pneumococcal vaccination that, according to data from Communicable Diseases Australia, there were 18 cases of meningococcal type C infection and 512 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease reported in children under 5 years of age in Australia in 2002.

(8) Can rates of hospitalisation, disability and death, by state, be provided for meningococcal type C disease and pneumococcal disease.

(9) Can the Government confirm that: (a) pneumococcal disease can affect the blood, spinal cord or brain and is therefore very serious; (b) invasive pneumococcal disease is the most common bacterial cause of serious disease in Australian infants and young children; (c) invasive pneumococcal disease is more common than meningococcal disease; (d) in young children, pneumococcal meningitis occurs 20 to 30 times more often than meningococcal type C meningitis; and (e) pneumococcal meningitis has a higher fatality rate and causes a higher rate of permanent and serious disability than meningococcal infection, half of all children who contract pneumococcal meningitis during the first year of life are left permanently disabled and about 11 per cent of children with pneumococcal meningitis will die.

(10) Is the Government aware of the article in the New England Journal of Medicine , 1 May 2003, that concludes; ‘The use of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is preventing disease in young children, for whom the vaccine is indicated and may be reducing the rate of disease in adults. The vaccine provides an effective new tool for reducing disease caused by drug resistant strains’.

(11) Will this report lead to a re-evaluation of the decision not to fund pneumococcal vaccines.

(12) Can the Government provide a progress report on the distribution of pneumococcal vaccine to Aboriginal children.

(13) Is it the case that the take-up for Aboriginal children has been poor due to excessive restrictions designed to prevent leakage to unsubsidised children, excessive paperwork and difficulties in implementation; if so, how does the Government propose to improve the take-up rate.

(14) Is it the case that Aboriginal children have the highest rate of pneumococcal disease in the world.

(15) Can rates of hospitalisation, disability and death, by state, be provided for pneumococcal disease in Aboriginal children.

(16) When will an evaluation of the National Meningococcal C Vaccination Program be conducted.

1440  Senator Harris: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—

(1) What documents are transacted between the parties prior to, and during, the signing of a contract between a successful contractor and Telstra.

(2) What penalty provisions are included in a Telstra contract.

(3) What notice is given to a contractor that materials provided by Telstra are on site prior to the commencement of a contract.

(4) What process does Telstra follow in relation to non-performance of a contractor.

(5) (a) How does Telstra specify the depth that a cable is to be laid; and (b) how does it assess compliance with this depth.

(6) How does Telstra monitor the stress on a cable during the laying process when a contractor is involved.

(7) If the stress factor is exceeded what procedure does Telstra follow.

(8) In relation to fibre optic cable laid in Queensland: how many contracts were let for each of the following years; 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

(9) For each of those years, how many contracts were in default and for what reason.

(10) What action has Telstra taken, or does it intend to take, in relation to any of those contracts.

1441  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—

(1) For each of the past 3 financial years, how much has been spent in Outcome 2 on: (a) chiropractry; (b) osteopathy; (c) physiotherapy; (d) ophthalmology; (d) optometrical; (e) aids and appliances; (f) dentistry; (g) diagnostic imagery; and (h) pathology.

(2) Can an update be provided of the tables showing compensation claims accepted for service in Timor and the Gulf, as contained in the answer to part (6) of question on notice no. 743 (Senate Hansard , 4 December 2002, p.7212) and part (2) of question on notice no. 744 (Senate Hansard , 12 December 2002, p. 8175).

(3) Further to the answer to question on notice no. 747 (Senate Hansard , 13 November 2002, p. 6318): What is the current position with respect to the review of dosimetry data from the atomic testing program.

(4) What is the current position with respect to tendering for transport services, as sought in the answer to question on notice no. 748 (Senate Hansard , 15 November 2002, p. 6557).

(5) Further to the answer to question on notice no. 802 (Senate Hansard , 15 November 2002, p. 6558): (a) what commission has been paid to Defence Service Homes Insurance (DSHI) by QBE/Mercantile Mutual over each of the past 3 years; and (b) what proportion has that commission been of DSHI’s running costs in each year.

(6) Can an update be provided of the data in the answer to parts (4), (5), (6), (19), (23) and (26) of question on notice no. 819 (Senate Hansard , 18 March 2003, p.  9581).

(7) Further to the answer to question on notice no. 968 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8661): Can an update be provided to March 2003 of the data on Department of Veterans’ Affairs health card usage and costs.

(8) With reference to the answer to question on notice 1004 (Senate Hansard , 18 March 2003, p. 9621): Were prosecutions launched against those medical providers identified by type in part (2); if not, why not; if so, with what outcome in each case.

(9) With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 697 (Senate Hansard , 11 November 2002, p. 6042) concerning the review of tier-one hospitals: Can an answer be provided to those parts which remained unanswered.