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Notice given 21 August 2003

1809  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Is it the practice of the Government to direct family members who receive copies of reports on inquiries relating to the circumstances of the death of a serviceman or servicewoman not to disclose it to anyone other than a lawyer or medical practitioner.

(2) In what circumstances does the Government authorise copies of such reports referred to in paragraph (1) to be given to family members with such a non-disclosure direction.

(3) (a) Who decides whether such a non-disclosure direction is to be given in each instance; and (b) is this a decision made by the Minister.

(4) For each of the past 10 years, how many non-disclosure directions have been made to families who received a copy of an inquiry report into: (a) the death of their loved one; and (b) the mistreatment of their loved one, that has not led to suicide or death.

(5) Can the Minister confirm that Private Luke Amos, whose mistreatment at Singleton Army Base in 2000 was the subject of an inquiry, was given a copy of the inquiry report on the condition that he would not disclose it publicly.

(6) Can a copy be provided of the report of the inquiry into the treatment of Private Amos referred to in paragraph (4).

(7) Did the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence direct the parents and siblings of Private Jeremy Williams not to disclose the Investigating Officer’s report and the Appointing Authority’s document relating to the death of Private Williams, except to a lawyer or medical practitioner.

(8) What was the legal basis and policy rationale for the direction given to Private Williams’ family.

1810  Senator Lightfoot: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—In regard to the Goldfields Land and Sea Council based in Kalgoorlie, which is not a government agency, but was funded by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission grant of $3 170 501 for 2002, and given the level of federal funding received by the council gives rise to considerable concerns regarding the apparent lack of fiscal management and public accountability:

(1) How much Federal funding did the council receive during the 2001-02 financial year.

(2) With reference to the amount of $181 166 expended on ‘fares and travel allowances’ by the council in Kalgoorlie Boulder for the 2001-02 financial year: (a) can a breakdown be provided of these costs for each journey undertaken with specific reference to: (i) the purpose, (ii) the destination, (iii) the total cost, (iv) the individual responsible, and (v) any personal expenses incurred for each trip; (b) can a list be provided for each recipient of: (i) travel allowances paid, and (ii) the capacity in which they were paid; and (c) why did the council exceed its budgeted figure for ‘fares and travel allowances’ by $92 242.

(3) With reference to the amount of $19 227 expended on ‘field expenses’ by the council for the 2001-02 financial year: (a) can a breakdown be provided of these costs with specific reference to: (i) each item or service purchased with these monies, and (ii) the individual responsible for making those purchases on each occasion; and (b) why did the council exceed its budgeted figure for ‘field expenses’ by $14 161.

(4) With reference to the amount of $29 655 expended on ‘equipment and furniture’ by the council for the 2001-02 financial year: (a) can a breakdown be provided of these costs with specific reference to: (i) each piece of equipment and furniture purchased, (ii) its intended use, and (iii) the name of the individual who will predominantly use each item if it is not a shared office resource; and (b) why did the council exceed its budgeted figure for ‘equipment and furniture’ by $14 988.

(5) With reference to the amount of $150 133 expended on ‘meetings’ by the council for the 2001-02 financial year: (a) can a breakdown be provided of these costs with specific reference to: (i) each item, service and/or fee paid for or purchased for each meeting, and (ii) the recipients of all monies expended on meetings for the 2001-02 financial year; and (b) why did the council exceed its budgeted figure for ‘meetings’ by $41 670.

(6) With reference to the amount of $206 827 expended on ‘office expenses’ by the council for the 2001-02 financial year: (a) can a breakdown be provided of these costs; and (b) why did the council exceed its budgeted figure for ‘office expenses’ by $72 464.

(7) Can an itemised list be provided of all monies paid by the council, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission or the Federal Government to Mr Brian Wyatt, Chief Executive Officer of the council for the past 3 financial years; including: (a) wages; (b) fees; (c) allowances; (d) reimbursements; (e) account payments; (f) subsidies; and (g) any other form of remuneration paid to Mr Wyatt for those 3 years.

1811  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) What is the percentage of bulk-billed general practitioner unreferred attendances (by vocational registry (VR)/non-VR) in each federal electorate for the June 2003 quarter (due for release August 2003).

(2) For the most recent period collected, what is the average and median Medicare Benefits Schedule rebate received by full-time equivalent general practitioners with VR provider numbers for unreferred attendances in: (a) federal electorates; and (b) across outer-urban, regional and metropolitan areas by each state.

(3) What is the average and median total payment received by full-time equivalent general practitioners with VR provider numbers for unreferred attendances in: (a) federal electorates; and (b) across outer-urban, regional and metropolitan areas by each state.

1812  Senator Murray: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—Given the findings of the Australian Institute of Criminology Issue Paper Number 250 of May 2003, which included the following observations: (a) when asked if they would ever report on sexual abuse again following the experiences in the criminal justice system, only 44 per cent of children in Queensland, 33 per cent in New South Wales and 64 per cent in Western Australia indicated they would; and (b) in a case study of a cross examination in a Queensland committal, the crying child was repeatedly shouted at and asked more than 30 times to describe the length, width and colour of the penis of the accused:

(1) Does the Attorney-General intend to coordinate through the Council of Australian Governments far more sensitive and appropriate methods of enabling reported child sexual assault to be effectively pursued in state and Commonwealth courts and jurisdictions.

(2) Does the Attorney-General accept and recognise that the way in which child sexual assault is dealt with in Australian courts needs to be consistent, fair and ethical; if so, how does the Attorney-General intend to improve highly variable and sometimes grossly offensive and inappropriate treatment of children in these cases.