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Notice given 9 April 2008

*403  Senator Patterson: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing—With reference to the Minister’s media release of 22 March 2008, ‘Better protection for frail aged Australians’, which states that the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency has been instructed to undertake a record 7 000 visits (up from 4 000) to aged care facilities across the nation:

(1) Is this over and above the increased number of accreditation visits required for compliance in 2008.

(2) Are the 3 000 extra visits solely spot checks; if so, will they be undertaken on a yearly basis.

(3) (a) How many inspectors currently carry out spot checks; and (b) how many new inspectors will be employed to undertake the increased number of spot checks.

(4) (a) How many staff does the agency currently employ; and (b) how many staff will the agency employ once the increased number of spot checks is underway.

(5) What processes does the agency have in place to implement the spot checks.

(6) Will further funding be provided in the Budget to implement the spot checks.

 

 *404  Senator Patterson: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing—With reference to the Minister’s media release of 26 March 2008, ‘Federal Government issues challenge to Opposition to support new tough measures to improve quality in Australia’s aged care facilities’, in which an undertaking is given to review ‘the Aged Care Act to close loopholes and/or make improvements to quality in aged care’, can details of the loopholes and improvements to the Aged Care Act 1997 that are being reviewed be provided.

*405  Senator Patterson: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing—With reference to the Minister’s media release of 26 March 2008, ‘Federal Government issues challenge to Opposition to support new tough measures to improve quality in Australia’s aged care facilities’, in which an undertaking is provided to strengthen the powers of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency, can details be provided of how the powers of the agency will be strengthened.

*406  Senator Patterson: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing—Given that the Minister has disputed the findings of the report into the aged care industry by Grant Thornton, commissioned by the former Government, can the Minister provide detail and analysis to demonstrate how the report is incorrect.

*407  Senator Patterson: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing—Given that the allocation of beds in the last aged care approval round were undersubscribed in Tasmania and Western Australia: (a) what will happen to the unallocated provision of beds; and (b) what strategies does the Minister have in place to address the under-subscription of beds in Tasmania and Western Australia.

*408  Senator Patterson: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing—Can the formula for the Commonwealth Own Purpose Outlays and a breakdown of the components for the formula be provided.

*409  Senator Ellison: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship—

(1) As at 1 March 2008, how many people hold a current 410 visa.

(2) Has the department undertaken, or received from any other department, an estimate costing of a change to the 410 visa to enable holders to be eligible to take up permanent residency; if so, what is the estimate cost.