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Monday, 23 March 1987
Page: 1356

(Question No. 4784)

Mr Porter asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 17 October 1986:

(1) On whose authority and at whose request did the Health Insurance Commission provide 500,000 pamphlets entitled `Explaining the Australia Card'.

(2) What was the cost of this pamphlet and to which appropriation was the cost charged.

(3) When was the decision made to produce these pamphlets.

(4) Are the pamphlets issued from Medicare offices.

Dr Blewett —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) A pamphlet entitled `Explaining the new Australia Card' was produced by the Australian Taxation Office and distributed in September 1985. Questions relating to its production should be addressed to my colleague, the Treasurer.

In late 1985 the Government announced that the Health Insurance Commission, through its network of Medicare offices, would be involved in the introduction of the Australia Card scheme. This produced significant public demand for information on Australia Card at those offices. Having established that no stocks of the Taxation Office pamphlet were available, the Commission reprinted the publication entitling it `Explaining Australia Card'.

(2) The cost was $15,528.00 and was charged to the Commission's Australia Card appropriation.

(3) The decision to produce these pamphlets was made in the last quarter of 1985, and they were distributed in January 1986.

(4) Yes.