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Community Affairs Legislation Committee—Senate Standing—Budget estimates 2018-19—Report, dated July 2018


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The Senate

Community Affairs

Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2018-19

July 2018

ii

 Commonwealth of Australia 2018

978-1-76010-784-0

Secretariat

Ms Kate Gauthier (Acting Committee Secretary)

Mr Michael Finch (Research Officer)

Ms Carol Stewart (Administrative Officer)

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 3515

Fax: 02 6277 5829

E-mail: community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

This document was produced by the Senate Community Affairs Committee Secretariat and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

The details of this licence are available on the Creative Commons website: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/au/

iii

MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE

45th Parliament

Members

Senator Slade Brockman, Chair Western Australia, LP

Senator Rachel Siewert, Deputy Chair Western Australia, AG

Senator Jonathon Duniam (to 27 June 2018) Tasmania, LP

Senator Steve Martin (from 27 June 2018) Tasmania, NATS

Senator the Hon Lisa Singh Tasmania, ALP

Senator Dean Smith Western Australia, LP

Senator Murray Watt Queensland, ALP

Senators in attendance

Senators Abetz, Brockman, Brown, Di Natale, Dodson, Farrell, Griff, Leyonhjelm, Lines, Martin, O'Neill, Polley, Pratt, Siewert, Singh, Smith, Steele-John, Urquhart, Watt.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Membership of the Committee ........................................................................ iii

Abbreviations ....................................................................................................vii

Chapter 1.............................................................................................................. 1

Budget estimates 2018-19 ........................................................................................ 1

Referral of documents ............................................................................................ 1

Portfolio coverage .................................................................................................. 2

Hearings .................................................................................................................. 2

Procedural matters .................................................................................................. 3

Questions on notice ................................................................................................ 4

Hansard transcripts ................................................................................................. 4

Chapter 2.............................................................................................................. 5

Key issues................................................................................................................... 5

Health Portfolio hearing—29 May 2018 ................................................................ 5

Health Portfolio hearing—30 May 2018 ................................................................ 8

Health Portfolio hearing—27 June 2018 .............................................................. 11

Social Services Portfolio hearing—31 May 2018 ................................................ 12

Social Services Portfolio hearing—1 June 2018 .................................................. 14

Human Services Portfolio hearing—31 May 2018 .............................................. 16

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 19

Entities that appeared before the committee ....................................................... 19

Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 21

Tabled documents and additional information ................................................... 21

vi

ABBREVIATIONS

committee Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee

DHS Department of Human Services

DOH Department of Health

DSS Department of Social Services

MBS Medicare Benefits Schedule

NDIA National Disability Insurance Agency

NDIS National Disability Insurance Scheme

NRAS National Rental Affordability Scheme

PBAC Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee

PBS Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

PFAS Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances

viii

Chapter 1

Budget estimates 2018-19

1.1 On 8 May 2018, the Senate agreed that particulars of the proposed expenditure, in respect to the year ending 30 June 2019, be referred to legislation committees considering the estimates.1

1.2 The Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee (committee) held public hearings from 29 May 2018 to 1 June 2018 to consider the proposed expenditure for the Health Portfolio, Social Services Portfolio and Human Services Portfolio.2 The committee held an additional hearing on 27 June 2018 to further consider particulars of the Health Portfolio.

1.3 The Senate granted the committee an extension of time to report from 26 June 2018 to 13 July 2018.3

Referral of documents 1.4 The Senate referred the following documents to the committee with respect to the 2018-19 Budget estimates:

Particulars of proposed and certain expenditure for 2018-19

• Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2019;

• Particulars of proposed expenditure in relation to the parliamentary departments in respect of the year ending 30 June 2019;4 and

• Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on

30 June 2019.5

Particulars of proposed and certain additional expenditure for 2017-18

• Particulars of the proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2018; and

• Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending 30 June 2018.6

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 95, 8 May 2018, pp. 3032-3033.

2 Journals of the Senate, No. 70, 15 November 2017, pp. 2227-2228.

3 Journals of the Senate, No. 102, 25 June 2018, p. 3271.

4 The Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee has responsibility for examining the proposed expenditure for the: Department of the Senate; Department of the House of Representatives; Department of Parliamentary Services and the Parliamentary Budget Office.

5 Journals of the Senate, No. 95, 8 May 2018, pp. 3032-3033.

6 Journals of the Senate, No. 95, 8 May 2018, pp. 3032-3033.

2

Portfolio coverage 1.5 The Senate has allocated to the committee the departments and agencies of the:

• Health Portfolio;

• Social Services Portfolio; and

• Human Services Portfolio. 7

Hearings

Health Portfolio

1.6 The committee considered outcomes of the Health Portfolio at public hearings on 29 May 2018 and 30 May 2018, as follows:

• Whole of portfolio / Corporate matters;

• Outcome 1: Health System Policy, Design and Innovation;

• Outcome 2: Health Access and Support Services;

• Outcome 3: Sport and Recreation;

• Outcome 4: Individual Health Benefits;

• Outcome 5: Regulation, Safety and Protection; and

• Outcome 6: Ageing and Aged Care.

1.7 Entities of the Health Portfolio which appeared at the committee's hearings are listed at Appendix 1.

1.8 On 1 June 2018, Senators Watt, Singh and Siewert notified the committee Chair of a requirement for the committee to meet to further consider aspects of the Health Portfolio.8 The committee held an additional public hearing for that purpose on 27 June 2018.

1.9 Evidence was provided by Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, as Minister for Sport, Minister for Rural Health and Minister representing the Minister for Health. Evidence was also provided by the Secretary of the Department of Health (DOH), Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM, and other senior officers of DOH and agencies of the Health Portfolio.

Social Services Portfolio

1.10 The committee considered outcomes of the Social Services Portfolio, and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) at public hearings on 31 May 2018 and 1 June 2018, as follows:

7 See Journals of the Senate, No. 2, 31 August 2016, pp. 75-76, Journals of the Senate, No. 84, 12 February 2018, and Journals of the Senate No. 87, 15 February 2018, p. 2740. 8 Notice of this requirement was provided in accordance with Senate Procedural Order of Continuing Effect 9B.

3

31 May 2018

• Whole of portfolio / Corporate matters; and

• Outcome 1: Social Security.

1 June 2018

• Outcome 3: Disability and Carers;

• National Disability Insurance Agency;

• Outcome 4: Housing; and

• Outcome 2: Families and Communities.

1.11 Evidence was provided by Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, representing the Minister for Social Services. Evidence was also provided by the Secretary of the Department of Social Services, Ms Kathryn Campbell CSC, the Chief Executive Officer of the NDIA, Mr Robert De Luca, alongside other senior officers of those entities.

Human Services Portfolio

1.12 The committee considered the Human Services Portfolio during the latter half of its public hearing of 31 May 2018.

1.13 Evidence was provided by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, representing the Minister for Human Services. Evidence was also provided by the Secretary of the Department of Human Services (DHS), Ms Renée Leon PSM, and other senior officers of DHS.

1.14 The committee expresses its appreciation to the ministers and officers who provided evidence to the committee. The committee particularly notes assistance provided by Mr James Downie, Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, who provided evidence to the committee via teleconference whilst overseas on personal leave.

Procedural matters 1.15 During its 2018-19 Budget estimates hearings, the committee heard comments from witnesses indicating that the scope of their evidence was potentially limited by a preference not to disclose advice provided to government. The committee reaffirms the Chair's advice to witnesses, provided at the commencement of each portfolio's appearance at the hearings:

Witnesses are specifically reminded that a statement that information or a document is confidential or consists of advice to government is not a statement that meets the requirements of the [order of the Senate of 13 May 2009 regarding public interest immunity claims]. Instead witnesses are required to provide some specific indication of the harm to the public

4

interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or the document.9

Questions on notice 1.16 In accordance with Senate Standing Order 26(9)(a), the committee set 16 July 2018 as the due date for the return of answers to questions on notice arising from its hearings on 29 May 2018 to 1 June 2018. The committee set 8 August 2018 as the due date for the return of answers to questions taken on notice arising from its additional hearing on 27 June 2018.

1.17 On receipt, answers to questions on notice are published on the committee's estimates webpage.10

Timeliness of answers from the 2017-18 Additional estimates

1.18 The committee notes answers to questions on notice from the 2017-18 Additional estimates, which were due by 20 April 2018, were returned as follows:

• Health Portfolio—of the 382 questions taken on notice: 210 answers were

provided on time; 172 answers were provided late; and nine of those late answers were provided just one day prior to the Health Portfolio's appearance at the 2018-19 Budget estimates;

• Social Services Portfolio—answers to all 240 questions taken on notice were provided on time; and

• Human Services Portfolio—of the 54 questions taken on notice: 32 answers were provided on time; 22 answers were provided late; and four of those late answers were provided just one day prior to the Human Services Portfolio's appearance the 2018-19 Budget estimates.

Hansard transcripts 1.19 A verbatim record of the committee's hearings is made via the Committee Hansard.11 The Committee Hansard is published on the estimates webpage.

1.20 References in this report are to the proof Committee Hansard. Pages numbers may vary between the proof and the final versions of the Committee Hansard.

9 See Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, p. 4, Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, p. 4, and Proof Committee Hansard, 27 June 2018, p. 3.

10 Accessible via https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Senate_Estimates/ca.

11 The Committee Hansard is published online at https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Senate_Estimates/ca/2018-2019_Budget_estimates.

Chapter 2 Key issues

2.1 This chapter outlines the key issues considered at the committee's 2018-19 Budget estimates hearings.

Health Portfolio hearing—29 May 2018

Whole of portfolio / Corporate matters

• 2018-19 Health Portfolio Budget measures, particularly the quantum of savings and reinvestment of savings from those measures.1

• Transparency of fees charged by surgeons to patients which are not covered

by private health insurance, including the response of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Out-of-Pocket Costs.2

• Funding allocated to Health Portfolio priority areas. 3

• Implementation of the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition

of Sex and Gender within the Health Portfolio.4

• Source and quantum of funds allocated to Outcome 6: Aged Care. 5

Outcome 1: Health System Policy, Design and Innovation

Program 1.1: Health Policy Research and Analysis

• Medical Research Future Fund, including: the value of disbursements made;

funding over the forward estimates; processes for making disbursements, and specific research initiatives such as the Biomedical Translation Fund.6

• Particulars of the National Health and Medical Research Council Myalgic

Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee.7

Program 1.2: Health Innovation and Technology

• Rollout of the My Health Record initiative, including: a large-scale information campaign; opt-out provisions; secondary purpose data usage; arrangements for the protection of consumers' privacy and consent; and

1 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 5-10.

2 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 10-14.

3 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 14-21.

4 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 21-22.

5 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 22-26.

6 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 30-39. 7 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 39-42.

6

provisions for healthcare providers to upload data to the My Health Record system.8

Program 1.5: International Policy

• Department of Health's response to an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic

Republic of Congo.9

Outcome 2: Health Access and Support Services

Program 2.1: Mental Health

• Processes used for determining the extension of the National Suicide

Prevention Trial, particularly the extent of the consultations undertaken.10

• Mental health services funded through the Primary Health Networks, including mental health services for older Australians living in in residential aged care.11

• Priorities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people mental health

services.12

• Quantum of funding allocated to mental health services, including research-led funding priorities.13

• Youth mental health services provided in educational contexts. 14

• Continuity of psychosocial supports. 15

• Contribution of the National Mental Health Commission to recent government mental health initiatives.16

Program 2.3: Health Workforce

• Benefits of the 2018-19 Budget measure, A Stronger Rural Health, for the

recruitment and retention of doctors across rural and remote areas.17

Program 2.4: Preventative Health and Chronic Disease Support

• Progress made with developing a national strategic approach to maternity

services, including continuity of care arrangements.18

8 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 43-61.

9 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 61-62.

10 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 62-69.

11 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 70-73.

12 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 73-74, 80-81.

13 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 76-80.

14 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 81-84.

15 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 85-88.

16 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 89-92.

17 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 95-98.

7

• Availability of Local Drug Action Teams in Tasmania and Western

Australia.19

• Update on the implementation of the National Cancer Screening Register. 20

• Intended purpose of the $40 million 2018-19 Budget measure, Support for

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment.21

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

• Nanohydroxyapatite chemicals in baby formula. 22

Program 2.5: Primary Health Care Quality and Coordination

• Performance and outcome measures of the Health Care Home trial. 23

• Grants made by Primary Health Networks, particularly the North Queensland Primary Health Network.24

• Funding allocated to the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network for community needs identification.25

Program 2.7: Hospital Services

• Government policy on the rate of the Commonwealth Government's efficient

growth funding for hospitals.26

• Commonwealth Government funding for Mersey Hospital, Tasmania. 27

Outcome 3: Sport and Recreation

Program 3.1: Sport and Recreation

• Release date and potential funding methods for the National Sports Plan. 28

Australian Sports Commission

• Staffing levels at the Australian Sports Commission. 29

18 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 100-102.

19 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 103-105.

20 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 106-108.

21 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 99, 109-113.

22 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 117-119.

23 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 119-124.

24 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 124-127.

25 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 127-129.

26 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 129-131.

27 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 132-133.

28 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 133-136.

29 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 136, 141.

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• Functions and costs the Australian Institute of Sport's training facility in

Italy.30

• 2018-19 Budget allocations for sports and physical activity initiatives. 31

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority

• Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's recent anti-doping activities. 32

Health Portfolio hearing—30 May 2018

Outcome 4: Individual Health Benefits

Program 4.1: Medical Benefits

• Expected outcomes of the 2018-19 Budget measure, Visas for General Practitioners — targeting areas of doctor shortages, and the potential savings over the forward estimates arising from fewer billings of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) listed items.33

• Update on the work and recommendations of the MBS Review Taskforce, including associated implications for MBS expenditure.34

• Processes by which the government issues Magnetic Resonance Imaging

licenses.35

• Potential MBS item for eating disorders. 36

Program 4.2: Hearing Services

• Government response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee

on Health, Aged Care and Sport's hearing health and wellbeing of Australia inquiry report.37

• Development of a roadmap to guide improvements to the hearing health of

Australians.38

• Implementation plan for a $30 million budget allocation to increase hearing

health assessments.39

30 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, p. 137.

31 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 138-140.

32 Proof Committee Hansard, 29 May 2018, pp. 142.

33 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 5-11.

34 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 11-14, 18-21.

35 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 15-17.

36 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 17-18.

37 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 22-23.

38 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 23-24.

39 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 24-25.

9

Program 4.3: Pharmaceutical Benefits

• Government's response to the 2015 independent Review of Pharmacy

Remuneration and Regulation.40

• Expenditure on the MedsCheck service. 41

• Access to information regarding doctors certified to prescribe Mifepristone. 42

• Particulars of the 2018-19 Budget measure, Improving access to Medicines —

additional funding for new medicines and improved payment administration, including: statements made by the Medicines Partnership of Australia; reduction in revenue rebates for high-cost medicines; and improved payment arrangement for certain high cost medicines with special pricing arrangements.43

• New and amended Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listed items, including: budgetary implications; recommendations of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC); and the timeframes in which medicines or vaccines are listed on the PBS following a recommendation from PBAC.44

• Special pricing arrangements for PBS listed items, principally the eligibility of Afatinib for such an arrangement.45

Program 4.4: Private Health Insurance

• Role of the recent government private health insurance reforms in placing

downwards pressure on private health insurance premium costs.46

• Rates of private health insurance coverage. 47

• Price reduction for medical devices listed on the Prostheses List. 48

Program 4.6: Dental Services

• Funding for dental services through the National Partnership Agreement. 49

40 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 26-28.

41 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 30-31.

42 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 30-31.

43 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 31-37, 40-42.

44 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 37-40.

45 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 43-53.

46 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 53-56.

47 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 56-59.

48 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 60-61.

49 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 62-63.

10

Program 4.8: Targeted Assistance - Aids and Appliances

• Application of the goods and services tax on sanitary pads and tampons. 50

Outcome 5: Regulation, Safety and Protection

Program 5.1: Protect the Health and Safety of the Community Through Regulation

• Processing of applications for access to medicinal cannabis made to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and the processes pertaining to medical practitioners applying to becoming authorised prescribers of medicinal cannabis.51

Program 5.2: Health Protection and Emergency Response

• Community support package for people impacted by Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Katherine, Northern Territory.52

• Government's response to an outbreak of infectious syphilis affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Northern Australia.53

• Application of the precautionary principle in the Government's response to PFAS impacts.54

• Research being undertaken into the potential effects of people's prolonged

exposure to PFAS.55

• Particulars of the hepatitis delta virus type 1 (HDV1) in Australia. 56

• Responses to Lyme-like disease or vector-borne disease, including improvements to pathology practices for more effective diagnosis.57

Program 5.3: Immunisation

• Rates of flu immunisation, demand for flu vaccinations and the

Commonwealth's role in facilitating vaccine supply.58

Outcome 6: Ageing and Aged Care

• 2018-19 Budget measures providing funding for aged care. 59

50 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, p. 64-65.

51 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, p. 67-71.

52 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, p. 72-74.

53 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, p. 75-79, 89-91.

54 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, p. 79-81.

55 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, p. 82-83.

56 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, p. 83-85.

57 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, p. 85-89.

58 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, p. 92-96.

59 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 97-98.

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• Government response to the Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017 report

(Tune review).60

• Funding for additional Home Care Packages over the forward estimates, including the number and type of packages funded, and the impact this initiative will have on the Home Care Packages waiting list.61

• Adequacy of resourcing in the aged care sector, particularly in relation to:

staffing ratios; average daily spending on people in aged care; and the homeless supplement for residential aged care.62

• Support services for prematurely aged homeless people. 63

• Rates of aged care services providers returning unspent home care package funds following the death of a receipt of a home care package.64

• Eligibility criteria for the dementia and cognition supplement, and the 2018-19 Budget measures that address dementia.65

• Trial of aged care system navigator services to assist people in accessing information about aged care services and making decisions appropriate for their circumstances.66

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency

• Residential aged care facilities which have been found to be noncompliant

with standards following audit reviews, and subsequent processes for improving residential aged care facilities' compliance.67

• Development and piloting of the Aged Care Quality Standards proposed under the Aged Care (Single Quality Framework) Reform Bill 2018.68

Health Portfolio hearing—27 June 2018

Outcome 1: Health System Policy, Design and Innovation

• Website under development by the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Out-of-pocket costs for providing consumer transparency on aspects of private medical practice.69

60 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 97-100, 106.

61 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 101-102, 111-116.

62 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 102-105.

63 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 106-107.

64 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, p. 109.

65 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 118, 121-123.

66 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 119-120.

67 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 124-125, 128.

68 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2018, pp. 125-12.

69 Proof Committee Hansard, 27 June 2018, pp. 3-5.

12

• Nature of the interactions between the Minister for Health and entities of the

Health Portfolio.70

Outcome 2: Health Access and Support Services

• Particulars of the proposed public hospital funding agreement between the

Commonwealth and the states and territories.71

• Complaint made regarding a tender process undertaken by the North

Queensland Primary Health Network.72

Outcome 4: Individual Health Benefits

• Listing of Afatinib on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme under a special

pricing arrangement.73

• Process taken in granting a Magnetic Resonance Imaging license at the

Kalgoorlie Health Campus.74

• Consumer complaints relating to private health insurance. 75

• Vaccines listed on the National Immunisation Program, and state and territory based schemes which include vaccines not listed on that program.76

Social Services Portfolio hearing—31 May 2018

Whole of portfolio / Corporate matters

• Status of funding for grants made by the Department of Social Services (DSS), particularly grants due to expire or subject to redesign.77

Outcome 1: Social Security

• Expected operation of the 2018-19 Budget measure, Encouraging lawful

behaviour of income support participants.78

• Plans to abolish the Energy Supplement, particularly the number of people potentially affected and the associated financial impacts.79

70 Proof Committee Hansard, 27 June 2018, pp. 5-8.

71 Proof Committee Hansard, 27 June 2018, pp. 8-11.

72 Proof Committee Hansard, 27 June 2018, pp. 11-12.

73 Proof Committee Hansard, 27 June 2018, pp. 12-14.

74 Proof Committee Hansard, 27 June 2018, pp. 14-19.

75 Proof Committee Hansard, 27 June 2018, pp. 20-21.

76 Proof Committee Hansard, 27 June 2018, pp. 21-22.

77 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 4-7.

78 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 7-12, 16-17.

79 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 12-16, 19-22.

13

• Increases to the waiting period for newly arrived residents' access to certain

social income support payments, as proposed in the 2018-19 Budget measure, Encouraging Self Sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants.80

Program 1.1: Family Tax Benefit

• Proposed changes to Family Tax Benefit A and Family Tax Benefit B, including the number and characteristics of the families affected, and potential savings to government.81

Program 1.6: Income Support for Seniors

• Provisions of the 2018-19 Budget measure, More Choices for a Longer Life -

Finances for a longer life.82

• Changes to the assets test for age pension, as effective from 1 January 2017,

including the savings to government and quantum of people impacted.83

• Government policy to increase the pension age and associated effects. 84

• Potential effects of the provisions of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Payment Integrity) Bill 2017.85

• Particulars of the Pension Loan Scheme, including access rates and processes

by which the scheme's interest rate is set.86

Program 1.8: Income Support for People with Disability

• Potential effects of the 2018-19 Budget measure, Disability Support Pension—aligning suspension periods for imprisoned recipients.87

• Policy interactions between exemptions from the mutual obligation requirements for Newstart Allowance recipients and Disability Support Pension eligibility criteria.88

Program 1.10: Working Age Payments

• Current rate of the Newstart Allowance, and consideration as to whether the

rate is adequate for recipients' living needs.89

80 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 18-19, 23-24.

81 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 26-30.

82 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 30-32.

83 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 33-37.

84 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 37-40.

85 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 40-42.

86 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 42-47.

87 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 48-53.

88 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 55-56.

89 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 26-30, 61-62.

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• Updated information on the proposed trail for drug testing welfare recipients,

particularly the breakdown of the services to be funded under a $10 million treatment fund.90

• Number of people potentially affected by the proposal to increase the liquid

assets waiting period from 13 to 26 weeks.91

Social Services Portfolio—1 June 2018

Outcome 3: Disability and Carers

• Statement made by the Secretary of DSS regarding the development and

performance of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).92

• Context in which the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) published

operational guidelines on its website which included incorrect information relating to the eligibility requirements for children living with level 2 autism.93

• Circumstances in which a person living with an acute disability died whilst

waiting for assistive technology that had been approved through the NDIS.94

• Update on the transition to the NDIS in Western Australia, particularly the NDIA's response to the challenges of service delivery in remote locations.95

• Particulars of 'Operation Green Light', an internal NDIA project for considering potential improvements to the consistency of decisions regarding NDIS access.96

• Support for psychosocial disabilities, particularly the continuity of support

arrangements for people living with a psychosocial disability who are transitioning from state-based services to the NDIS.97

• NDIA information and communication technology system outages,

particularly a recent incident of significant outage affecting the NDIA's central customer relationship manager system.98

• Particulars of the draft NDIS Practice Guide - Intensive Super Intensive Participants: Guidance for Planners, LACs and delegates, which was released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.99

90 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 56-61.

91 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 62-63.

92 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 3-4.

93 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 4-6, 11-12, 18-21.

94 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 6-7, 10-11.

95 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 13-15.

96 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 15-18, 22.

97 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 25-26, 40-43.

98 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 27-30, 32-33.

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• Unscheduled reviews of participants' plans, including timeframes for

processing those reviews and the NDIA's response to related

recommendations made by Commonwealth Ombudsman.100

• Outsourcing of NDIA call centre operations to a private sector operator. 101

• Average staffing level caps applied to the NDIA, outsourcing arrangements and consultancy expenditure.102

• Integrated Plan for Carer Support Services. 103

• Specialist Disability Accommodation Provider and Investor Brief. 104

Outcome 4: Housing

• National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), including complaints related to providers; and arrangements to support affordable housing outcomes as the NRAS approaches a scheduled end date.105

• Anticipated effectiveness of recommendations made in a Productivity

Commission report, Introducing competition and informed user choice into human services, regarding market-based approaches to social housing.106

• Government initiatives that address homelessness, particularly the

consideration given by DSS to international approaches to homelessness.107

• State of bilateral negotiations relating to the National Housing and

Homelessness Agreement.108

• Role and design of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation

in funding community housing.109

• Expected utilisation of the Pensions Loan Scheme. 110

99 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 24, 30-32.

100 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 33-35.

101 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 35-40, 43.

102 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 43-45, 52-53.

103 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 47-49.

104 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 51-52.

105 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 55-59.

106 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 60-62.

107 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 63-65, 71-72.

108 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 65-70.

109 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 70-71, 73-74.

110 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 76, 78-79.

16

Outcome 2: Families and Communities

Program 2.1: Families and Communities

• Statement from the Secretary of DSS regarding the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018 and the National Redress Scheme for Child Sexual Abuse Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2018.111

• Particulars of the (then proposed) National Redress Scheme, including: provisions for counselling services; framework for determining payment amounts; timeframes for the provision of documents or response to an offer of redress; information protection provisions; and indexation of previous redress payments made outside of the scheme.112

• Cashless Debit Card program, including arrangements for community consultation and support services in current and future trial sites.113

• DSS service delivery grants which are due to expire or are subject to redesign.114

Human Services Portfolio hearing—31 May 2018 • Telephony capacity of the Department of Human Services (DHS), including:

rates of busy signals; number of abandoned calls; call wait times; and initiatives to improve customer call outcomes.115

• DHS' implementation of the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender.116

• Processes relating to the independent KPMG evaluation of the call centre

enhancement pilot.117

• Performance of the NDIA call line, operated by DHS on behalf of the

NDIA.118

• Effectiveness of Serco contractors, engaged as part of the call centre

enhancement pilot, in delivering Centrelink call services and employment conditions for Serco staff.119

111 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 80-81.

112 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 81-89, 95-100.

113 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 89-95.

114 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2018, pp. 101-108.

115 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 66-76, 83-85.

116 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 77-79.

117 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 79-81.

118 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 79-83.

119 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 86-90, 95-97.

17

• Government announcement that 1000 additional operators for DHS' call

centres will be engaged under an outsourcing arrangement.120

• Particulars of the DHS workforce, including: average staffing levels caps; rates of attrition; and staffing level reductions.121

• Caps on deductions available to lessors using Centrepay. 122

• Particulars of the Online Compliance Initiative, including: the potential

impact on social income recipients' tax liabilities and the number of debt appeals made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.123

• Administrative arrangements for managing the Child Care Subsidy. 124

• Delivery of Centrelink services to people who are homeless. 125

• Update on the medical review process for people receiving Disability Support

Pensions.126

• Wait times for processing income support applications. 127

• Service protocols for Centrelink shopfronts delivering in-person client support.128

Program 1.2: Services to the Community - Health

• Home and residential aged care services, including: DHS' processes for income and means testing; annual and lifetime caps; and provider compliance responsibilities.129

Program 1.3: Child Support

• Implementation of the DHS child support system upgrade project.

Senator Slade Brockman Chair

120 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 91-93.

121 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 97-99, 102-107.

122 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 99-100.

123 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 101-102, 109-111.

124 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 107-109, 115-117.

125 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 112-113.

126 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 113-114.

127 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 117-120.

128 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 120-123.

129 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2018, pp. 123-125.

18

APPENDIX 1

Entities that appeared before the committee

Health Portfolio • Department of Health

• National Health and Medical Research Council

• Australian Digital Health Agency

• Food Standards Australia New Zealand

• Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority

• Australian Sports Commission

• Australian Aged Care Quality Agency

• Aged Care Complaints Commissioner

• Aged Care Pricing Commissioner

Social Services Portfolio • Department of Social Services

• National Disability Insurance Agency

Human Services Portfolio • Department of Human Services

20

APPENDIX 2

Tabled documents and additional information

Tabled documents

Health Portfolio hearing, 29 May 2018

• Senator Watt—Media article: 'Poor diagnosis for budget's health spending', Australian Financial Review, 10 May 2018.

• Department of Health—Table: Department of Health, Budget 2016-17, Flexible Funds Transition.

• Department of Health—Table: Department of Health, Budget 2016-17,

Flexible Funds Transition.

Health Portfolio hearing, 30 May 2018

• Senator Watt—Media statement: Medicines Partnership of Australia (MPA) - First statement - 9 May 2018: 2018-19 Budget Response from MPA.

• Senator McKenzie—Media statement: Medicines Partnership of Australia (MPA), 10 May 2018 - MPA welcomes additional PBS investment.

• Mr Nick Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Aged Care Quality

Agency—Australian Aged Care Quality Agency: Regulatory performance data.

• Dr Lisa Studdert, A/g Deputy Secretary, Aged Care and Population Health Group, Department of Health—Response to recommendations of Aged Care Legislation Review (Tune Review).

Human Services Portfolio hearing, 31 May 2018

• Department of Human Services—Telephony report for 2017-18 (as at 31

March 2018) and 2016-17.

Social Services Portfolio hearing, 1 June 2018

• Ms Kathryn Campbell CSC, Secretary, Department of Social Services— Statement regarding the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

• Mr Michael Lye, Deputy Secretary, Disability and Carers, Department of Social Services—Answers to questions asked by Senator Brown, regarding integrated care support services, from the office of the Minister for Social Services.

• Senator Brown—Letter from Peter and Beverley Rubenach to the NDIS and the Minister for Disability Services.

22

• Senator Steele-John—NDIS Practice Guide - Intensive Super Intensive

Participants: Guidance for Planners, LACs and delegates.

• Ms Barbara Bennett, Deputy Secretary, Families and Communities, Department of Social Services—DSS grants programs redesign status (as at May 2018.

Additional information

Health Portfolio

• Ms Caroline Edwards, Deputy Secretary (Health Systems and Primary Care),

Department of Health, letter clarifying evidence provided to the committee at the hearing on 29 May 2018, received 28 June 2018.

• Answers to questions on notice, received 26 June 2018:

• SQ18-000438

• SQ18-000442

• SQ18-000449

• SQ18-000451

• SQ18-000452

• SQ18-000453

• SQ18-000456

• SQ18-000457

• SQ18-000459

• SQ18-000461

• SQ18-000465

• SQ18-000468

• SQ18-000471

• SQ18-000472

• SQ18-000475

• SQ18-000477

• SQ18-000478

• SQ18-000510

• SQ18-000512

• SQ18-000513

• SQ18-000516

• SQ18-000523

• SQ18-000525

23

• SQ18-000541

• SQ18-000543

• SQ18-000591

• SQ18-000592

• SQ18-000607

• SQ18-000615

• SQ18-000616

• SQ18-000621

• SQ18-000623

• SQ18-000629

• SQ18-000655

• SQ18-000668

• SQ18-000685

• SQ18-000714

• SQ18-000716

• SQ18-000721

• SQ18-000722

• SQ18-000723

• SQ18-000727

• SQ18-000732

• SQ18-000734

• SQ18-000741

• SQ18-000760

• SQ18-000761

• SQ18-000767

• SQ18-000768

• SQ18-000769

• SQ18-000770

• SQ18-000783

• SQ18-000833

• SQ18-000853

• Answer to question on notice SQ18-000927, received 4 July 2018.

• Answers to questions on notice, received 11 July 2018:

24

• SQ18-000504

• SQ18-000572

• SQ18-000641

• SQ18-000661

• SQ18-000744

• SQ18-000765

• SQ18-000771

• SQ18-000793

• SQ18-000852

Social Services Portfolio

• Department of Social Services: Cashless Debit Card and income management

summary, received 30 May 2018.

• Department of Social Services: Update on younger people in residential aged

care, received 31 May 2018.

• Mr Nathan Williamson, Deputy Secretary (Social Services), Department of

Social Services, letter clarifying evidence provided to the committee at the hearing on 31 May 2018, received 5 July 2018.

Human Services Portfolio

• Mr Glenn Black, Acting National Manager (Ministerial Coordination and Parliamentary), Department of Human Services, letter clarifying evidence provided at the committee at the hearing on 31 May 2018, received 12 July 2018.