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Notice given 8 November 2005

1353  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) For the financial years 2003-04 and 2004-05 to the end of May 2005, how many reviews were conducted by Comsuper of former Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel under 65 years of age and in receipt of incapacity payments as a result of medical discharge A, B and C.

 

 (2) (a) In how many of those reviews were reductions made to incapacity payments; (b) how many were cancelled; and (c) what was the average reduction.

(3) Of those reviewed, how many former personnel were in receipt of separate benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA).

(4) In reviewing and reducing incapacity payments, is consultation conducted with DVA on each DVA client affected.

(5) (a) What is the current liability for incapacity payments to former ADF personnel under 65 years of age; and (b) what reduction has been made as a result of the reviews conducted in the years indicated in (1) above.

(6) (a) How many reviews, where reduced pensions have resulted, have in turn been appealed; and (b) what number and percentage have been altered in the appellants’ favour.

(7) In reviewing incapacity payments, what assistance is provided with respect to vocational training and assistance with employment.

1354  Senator Crossin: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—

(1) Was the Government forced to pulp tens of thousands of copies of a brochure designed to promote the virtues of the proposed amendments to Aboriginal Land Rights; if so, why.

(2) Was the pulping due to a lack of communication between the Northern Territory and Federal Governments.

(3) (a) How many copies were pulped; (b) what was the cost of the pulping; and (c) who requested or instigated the pulping.

(4) Were the brochures pulped because the wording could have been seen as a land grab.

(5) Did the Government distribute the initial brochure in order to assess public opinion.

(6) With whom were consultations held before publishing the initial brochure.

(7) Who made the decision to publish the original version of the brochure.

(8) Was the brochure reprinted in an amended form; if so, when, and to whom was it sent.

(9) Can the Government confirm that the brochure is causing considerable concern at communities and Indigenous organisations; if so, has any follow up or further explanation been undertaken, or is any planned, and if so by whom.

(10) Does the Government agree that if land is to be leased, much work will need to be done in relation to survey, establishing accurate boundaries, and assessing the value for lease purposes as none of this is done in most communities; who will do this and how will the work be funded.

(11) Will funds be taken from the Aboriginal Benefit Account; if so, why is this justified if Indigenous people disagree with the scheme.

(12) (a) In what ways will such a scheme as town leases genuinely help Indigenous people; and (b) where will Indigenous people get the money to buy houses on Community Development Employment Projects wages where there is no ‘real’ economy.

 

 (13) If land is leased and businesses established, will the permit system be retained for access to Aboriginal land; if so, how will this be done to control access but still allow viable business operations (e.g. a business at Wadeye might require people to drive through a number of other Indigenous communities, how will the permit system allow for this).