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Notice given 3 February 2004

2523  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to a study reported in the February 2004 edition of the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, General practitioners’ educational needs in intellectual disability health , which found that despite the central role general practitioners (GPs) now play in the provision of primary health care to people with intellectual disability, GPs reported inadequate training in the areas of behavioural or psychiatric conditions, human relations and sexuality issues, complex medical problems and preventative and primary health care; and that 94 per cent of GPs were interested in further education in at least one of the nine health care areas, the most frequently nominated areas being behavioural or psychiatric conditions, syndrome-specific medical problems, human relations and sexuality issues and collaboration with government services: Will the Government consider including GP training for the health needs of the intellectually disabled and developmentally delayed under the Federal Enhanced Primary Care Program; if not, how will the Government address the substandard health of such people and the need for more GP training in this area.

2524  Senator Nettle: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) How many of the 345 ‘oil discharges’ off the coast of Australia in 2002 reported by the Australian Marine Safety Authority were investigated.

(2) Has the department found that some ships pump oil from sump tanks out at sea rather than disposing of the oil properly in port.

(3) How many ships leave ports annually without being inspected.

(4) (a) How much is the annual revenue from the marine oil pollution levy on large ships; and (b) how is this spent.

(5) Will the Minister initiate a review of current ship inspection and tracking protocols to better account for oil waste management and facilitate spill investigation.

2525  Senator Nettle: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—With reference to the deportation of asylum seekers:

(1) What, if any, methods and resources are used to assess whether it is safe for asylum seekers to be returned to their country of origin or a third country.

(2) What, if any, methods and resources are used to monitor the safety and welfare of asylum seekers who have been returned to their country of origin or a third country.

(3) Will the Minister guarantee that the department will not return any asylum seekers into situations where they face danger of persecution, torture, unjust incarceration or death.

(4) Will the Minister guarantee that all travel and identification documents issued or arranged by the department will be recognised internationally as genuine and valid.

(5) Will the Minister suspend and review deportation to countries about which evidence emerges that asylum seekers have been returned to dangerous situations.

2526  Senator Nettle: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—

(1) For each of the following social welfare benefits: (a) invalid pension; (b) Newstart (disability); (c) sickness allowance; (d) mature age allowance (disability); and (e) supporting parent allowance, what percentage of current recipients who were previously fit for work and employed or self employed are claiming these benefits as a consequence of their claim for workers compensation or third party motor vehicle accident insurance having been rejected by an insurance company.

(2) Of social welfare recipients currently requiring benefits because they are unfit for work, what percentage are in this situation as a consequence of failed or rejected workers compensation or third party motor vehicle accident claims.

(3) For each of the following social welfare benefits: (a) sickness allowance; (b) Newstart (disability); (c) mature age allowance (disability); and (d) supporting parent allowance, what percentage of current recipients who have workers compensation, third party motor vehicle accident or private sickness and accident policy insurance claims currently pending, had those claims pending at the time of registering for social welfare.

(4) For the past 7 years, what has been the average length of time taken by insurance companies to reach their decisions on these claims.

(5) Based on Centrelink’s social welfare/insurance claim outcome statistics for the past 2 years: (a) what percentage of current social welfare claimants who are registered with Centrelink as ‘unfit for work’ pending the outcome of insurance claims are likely to have their insurance claims rejected whilst still unfit for full-time work because of the insurance claim related injury or condition; and (b) what percentage of these claims are likely to be finalised as a consequence of the claimant committing suicide either during the assessment process by the insurance company or immediately following rejection of the claim by the insurance company.