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Notice given 11 March 2008

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

(1) How many overseas trained doctors enter Australia every year on temporary visas.

(2) Can the Minister confirm that overseas trained doctors entering Australia on temporary visas are not required to: (a) have their competency assessed by the Australian Medical Council (AMC); and/or (b) pass any standardised assessment process.

(3) Can the Minister confirm that overseas trained doctors who are permanent residents and agree to work in ‘areas of need’ or ‘districts of workforce shortage’ are also not required to: (a) have their competency assessed by the AMC; and/or (b) pass any standardised assessment process.

(4) Given that overseas trained doctors who are permanent residents and wish to practise unconditionally are required to pass the AMC examination, when will the same standards be applied to overseas trained doctors who have entered Australia on temporary visas.

(5) Is work still underway on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreement on a national assessment system for overseas trained doctors.

(6) Given that COAG agreed to have a national assessment system for overseas trained doctors in place by the end of 2006, why was this deadline not met.

(7) When does the Government anticipate that the national assessment system will be operational.

*362  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education—With reference to the National School Chaplaincy Programme:

(1) What are the ‘regular’ reports required of participating schools.

 

 (2) How does a school demonstrate that it has: (a) consulted with the broad school community on whether or not it should apply for funding; (b) consulted with the broad school community and established clear consensus on the demand for, role of and faith or denomination of the chaplain; (c) advised students and parents or caregivers that participation in the services provided is not compulsory; and (d) explained the opt out processes for individual students.

(3) How and when will the program be evaluated.

(4) Will key performance indicators be applied in schools on the performance of chaplains.

(5) Can students opt out on their own account; if so, from what age.

(6) Are schools required to report on the number of students opting out.

(7) Are schools required to report on complaints made against chaplains taking advantage of their privileged position to proselytise for their denomination or religious belief; if so: (a) how many complaints of this type have been reported; (b) by whom (students, teachers, parents or staff) were they reported; and (c) what is the nature of the complaints.

(8) Does the Government consider it appropriate for chaplains to evangelise, as defined by the Queensland Government as ‘engagement and dialogue with a student/s with intent to attract to a particular faith group’.

(9) Are schools required to report on the process or processes adopted for complaints about proselytising.

(10) Are schools required to advise students, staff and parents of the prohibition on proselytising.

(11) Does the Government consider it appropriate for chaplains in government schools to conduct religious instruction before whole-of-school activities, such as prayers at assemblies, graduation ceremonies, ANZAC day or the like.

(12) Are the job descriptions issued by organisations involved in providing chaplains in schools consistent with the prohibition of proselytising.

(13) Are schools required to report on the content of these job descriptions.

(14) Can a copy of the Queensland-based Scripture Union’s job description be provided; if not, why not.

(15) Why do the guidelines for the program adopt opt out as opposed to opt in options.

(16) Is it acceptable for chaplains to press students to sign a pledge that they will not have sex before marriage.

(17) Is a school principal, parents body or chaplain organising body, or combination of these, required to vet materials provided or shown to students in class or elsewhere.

(18) How do schools demonstrate that chaplains do not provide services that they are not qualified to provide, such as psychological or medical assessments or referrals.

(19) What qualifications does the Government consider necessary for chaplains to hold in order to provide: (a) counselling; (b) guidance to students on issues concerning human relationships; and (c) support, in cases of bereavement, family breakdown or other crisis and loss situations.

 

 (20) What level of physical contact with a student does the Government consider acceptable when a student is distraught.

(21) If confidentiality is sought by a student in his or her dealings with a chaplain, must this be respected by the chaplain.

(22) Are chaplains required to belong to a professional body, such as the Australian College of Chaplains; if not, why not.

(23) If a student seeks information about services related to pregnancy, is the chaplain obliged to provide information that is accurate and impartial.

(24) If a student seeks information about services relating to same-sex attraction, is the chaplain obliged to provide information that is accurate and impartial.

(25) Are schools required to report on the qualifications of chaplains.

(26) Which states and which religious institutions, if any, accept the qualification of chaplains who: (a) have not passed year 12; and/or (b) do not have recognised formal post-secondary qualifications.

(27) (a) What qualifications, if any, are required to become a chaplain; and (b) if no qualifications are necessary, what is the definition of a chaplain.