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Notice given 21 February 2008

*292  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) On what dates did the Central Gippsland Health Service in Sale, Victoria apply for and receive an area of need specialist classification for a paediatrician.

(2) Is the Minister aware that two suitably qualified, locally-based paediatricians applied for a paediatrician’s position in late October and early November 2006 and that the Central Gippsland Health Service subsequently applied for area of need status.

(3) Is the Minister aware that the Central Gippsland Health Service subsequently appointed an overseas-trained doctor, who had failed the Royal Australasian College of Physicians examination, to fill that position.

(4) Was the appointment consistent with area of need guidelines and processes.

(5) Would the granting of a 457 visa under these circumstances be allowable.

 

 (6) What evidence do local health services have to provide to establish that they have been unable to attract a suitably qualified local applicant in order to qualify for area of need status.

(7) What processes does the Government have in place to monitor the area of need classification process.

*293  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) What process does the Government use to scrutinise the sales of aged care companies that receive Government payments.

(2) How does the Government determine that key personnel in the purchasing company are suitable for providing aged care.

(3) Does the purchaser of a company that has approved provider status for aged care have to obtain approved provider status in its own right once it has purchased an aged care facility or company; if not, why not.

*294  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) (a) What are the most recent figures for Chlamydia notifications, by age and state, if possible; and (b) does this indicate an increase or decrease from previous years.

(2) (a) What age groups is the pilot testing program for Chlamydia targeting; and (b) how were these age groups decided.

(3) Can a list be provided of the projects funded under the targeted grants program, including respective funding levels and commencement and anticipated completion dates.

(4) (a) If any of the funded targeted grants programs have been completed, what level of screening was targeted and what level was achieved; and (b) what data was collected on the prevalence of Chlamydia.

(5) In regard to Chlamydia testing in general practice (GP) settings: (a) when did testing commence; (b) in how many settings is the testing occurring; (c) where is the testing being conducted; (d) how were locations selected; (e) what process is being used to identify participants; (f) what participation rate has been achieved; (g) are any GP settings using a systematic approach, such as sending out letters to all young female clients to ask them to come in for testing or combining testing with visits for pap screens; and (h) what results have been obtained to date. 

(6) Has the Government looked into Chlamydia screening outside the GP setting, for example by school-based screening or sporting club screening.

(7) Has the Government looked into the need for Chlamydia education and health promotion programs.

*295  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) What data does the Government have on the prevalence of people living with chronic wounds.

(2) What are the costs to the health system of chronic wound care.

(3) How much funding does the Government provide for wound management aids or appliances.

 

 (4) What wound management technology does the Government fund.

(5) (a) How much does the Government spend on educating the medical profession on appropriate wound management techniques; and (b) how is this funding distributed.

(6) What steps, if any, does the Government propose to take to improve chronic wound care.

*296  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) (a) What statistics does the department have on the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in Australia; and (b) how many people are affected by Parkinson’s disease.

(2) How does the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease compare to other diseases and injuries that are considered National Health Priority Areas (NHPAs), such as suicide.

(3) How are NHPAs determined.

(4) (a) How much federal funding goes to suicide-related initiatives; and (b) how much goes to Parkinson’s disease related initiatives.

(5) How many Parkinson’s disease specialist nurses are working in Australia.

(6) (a) Is the Minister aware that United Kingdom guidelines recommend one Parkinson’s disease specialist nurse for every 300 patients, which would translate to a need for 182 Parkinson’s disease specialist nurses in Australia; and (b) has the Government looked into potential savings that would occur from better access to specialist nursing care.

(7) Has the Government looked into the need for general practitioner and public education about Parkinson’s disease; if so, does this include employer education.

(8) (a) How much money does the Government direct to research into Parkinson’s disease; (b) of this amount, how much is provided to look at causes, as opposed to cures and treatment models; and (c) how does this compare to other NHPAs.

*297  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to the plan for the establishment of ‘GP superclinics’:

(1) Will there be provision for salaried general practitioners (GPs).

(2) (a) What other health professionals will be employed in the superclinics; and (b) will they be employed on a fee-for-service or salaried basis.

(3) Will the superclinics employ nurse practitioners; if so: (a) what role will they play; (b) what services will they provide; and (c) how will they be remunerated.

(4) What incentives will be offered to encourage the use of preventative services in the superclinics.

*298  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—With regard to reports that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) will be involved in assessing and providing security for some schools:

(1) What data does the Government have on the amount of money schools spend on security.

(2) What will be the task delineation between ASIO and the AFP.

 

 (3) How many, and which, schools will be assessed to see if they have special security needs.

(4) Will schools be able to nominate for a security assessment.

(5) How much funding will be available for individual schools.

(6) Is the Government considering the provision of funding for security to other venues, such as churches, synagogues and mosques.

*299  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts—Given that Gunns Limited conduct further hydrodynamic modelling before the Minister finalises approval for the commission of the pulp mill project, and if, as several independent oceanographers have highlighted, government scientists agree that the daily effluent discharge of 64 000 tonnes will adversely effect Commonwealth marine waters, ecosystems and marine migratory species, will the Minister refuse permission for Gunns Limited to start operation the pulp mill.

*300  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts—In regard to the assessment of the Gunns Limited pulp mill project:

(1) Given that Professor Joy’s 90-day appointment expired on 12 January 2008, who has been acting as the Independent Site Supervisor since that date.

(2) Was Professor Joy’s appointment formally extended; if not, has the Minister approved the clearance of vegetation at the mill site, which may already be taking place.

(3) Is work in progress without a properly appointed site supervisor to monitor compliance with the conditions.

(4) Given that, during the election campaign, the Minister described the approach taken by the former Government in regard to the mill’s approval process as ‘a shambles’, and particularly given how little trust many Tasmanians have in the state-level regulatory process surrounding the mill, why is the Minister sticking with a federal oversight structure and team put in place during the course of a discredited approval process, by a former Government whose competence he questioned and whose Minister was under pressure to approve the mill according to a narrow interpretation of the Environmental Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999 , regardless of its actual environmental impact.

*301  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts—

(1) Has the Minister begun to consider candidates for the permanent position of Independent Site Supervisor for the Gunns Limited pulp mill project.

(2) Will the list of candidates be discussed with Gunns Limited prior to the final appointment; if so, will the list be made public prior to the appointment date.

(3) When will the Minister make the appointment.

 

 *302  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts—In regard to the Independent Expert Group (IEG) for the Gunns Limited pulp mill project:

(1) Has the Minister begun to consider candidates for the expansion of the IEG.

(2) (a) Will the list of candidates be discussed with Gunns Limited prior to their final appointment; and (b) will this list be made public prior to the appointments.

(3) When will the Minister make these appointments.

(4) Why is the Minister continuing with an IEG assessment when the majority of its members are to be drawn from the Expert Panel, which is supposed to be a separate body from the IEG.