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Notice given 11 August 2003

1748  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) With regard to the Government’s decision to provide domestic ethanol manufacturers with a production subsidy to offset the excise of 38.143 cents per litre applying to ethanol: (a) can the Minister advise: (i) what work was undertaken by Treasury, the Government’s Energy Task Force or any other Commonwealth agency to model the effects on livestock feed grains (in terms of price and availability) within Australia as a result of this decision prior to the introduction of this measure in September 2002; and (ii) what work was undertaken by Treasury, the Government’s Energy Task Force or any other Commonwealth agency to model the effects on livestock feed grains (in terms of price and availability) within Australia as a result of the decision to extend this measure to 2008; and (b) can a copy be provided of reports by Treasury, the Government’s Energy Task Force or any other Commonwealth agency on the effects of these measures on livestock feed grains within Australia; if not, why not.

(2) What work was or is currently being undertaken Treasury, the Government’s Energy Task Force or any other Commonwealth agency to model the effects on livestock feed grains (in terms of price and availability) within Australia as a result of the following promises contained in the Coalition’s 2001 Election Statement entitled ‘Our Future Action Plan Growing Stronger’: (a) setting a target that biofuels contribute 350 million litres to the total annual transport fuel supply by 2010; and (b) introducing a capital subsidy of $0.16 for each litre of new or expanded biofuel production capacity until the additional 310 million litres target is reached or by the end of 2006-07.

1749  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—

(1) With regard to the Government’s decision to provide domestic ethanol manufacturers with a production subsidy to offset the excise of 38.143 cents per litre applying to ethanol: (a) can the Minister advise: (i) what work was undertaken by Environment Australia, the Government’s Energy Task Force or any other Commonwealth agency to model the effects on livestock feed grains (in terms of price and availability) within Australia as a result of this decision prior to the introduction of this measure in September 2002; and (ii) what work was undertaken by Environment Australia, the Government’s Energy Task Force or any other Commonwealth agency to model the effects on livestock feed grains (in terms of price and availability) within Australia as a result of the decision to extend this measure to 2008; and (b) can a copy be provided of reports by Environment Australia, the Government’s Energy Task Force or any other Commonwealth agency on the effects of these measures on livestock feed grains within Australia; if not, why not.

(2) What work was or is currently being undertaken by Environment Australia, the Government’s Energy Task Force or any other Commonwealth agency to model the effects on livestock feed grains (in terms of price and availability) within Australia as a result of the following promises contained in the Coalition’s 2001 Election Statement entitled ‘Our Future Action Plan Growing Stronger’: (a) setting a target that biofuels contribute 350 million litres to the total annual transport fuel supply by 2010; and (b) introducing a capital subsidy of $0.16 for each litre of new or expanded biofuel production capacity until the additional 310 million litres target is reached or by the end of 2006-07.

1750  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—In relation to the Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule:

(1) Which immunisation schedule will be used to determine whether parents are eligible to access immunisation-dependent family payments - the government-funded schedule or the schedule recommended by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

(2) Given that the Australian Medical Association has decided (GP Network News 13 June) that it will encourage general practitioners to recommend to parents that the pneumococcal vaccine be administered in line with ATAGI recommendations and that the retail cost to parents is $450 per child; what policy response has the Government determined for parents who are unable to pay this.

(3) Had the Minister received any advice from the department, ATAGI, National Health and Medical Research Council or pharmaceutical companies prior to the May 2003 Budget to the effect that a cost-effective regime of childhood immunisation would be a publicly-funded universal pneumococcal vaccine and a geographically and/or age-targeted Meningococcal C vaccine; if so, why was this advice ignored.

(4) Has the Minister received any advice from pharmaceutical companies suggesting that the cost of a universal scheme of childhood vaccines would cost around $60 million a year or less than a third of the retail price to parents; if so, what has been the response to the companies involved.

(5) Given that the funding for Meningococcal C vaccine of some $300 million over 4 years was not identified in the 2002-03 Budget nor prior to the announcement on 24 November 2002: (a) what process was undertaken to identify where the funding came from; and (b) did the funding become available through identified savings in the Health portfolio, cuts to anticipated health programs or at the expense of the vaccines subsequently recommended by ATAGI, (namely adult formulation diptheria, tetanus and Pertussis vaccine 15-17 years, pneumococcal vaccine and varicella) for public funding; if so, which programs and by what amount of money.

(6) With reference to the answer provided to question no. E03-111 asked during the 2003-04 Budget estimates hearings of the Community Affairs Legislation Committee, why have the submissions provided as part of the public consultation process on ATAGI recommendations in the Childhood Immunisation Handbook been judged ‘confidential’ and therefore have not been released.

(7) Which parties are on the list of contributors of submissions received during the public consultation for the draft 8th Edition of the Australian Immunisation Handbook.