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Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Page: 11736

Defence

(Question No. 1066)


Mr Robert asked the Minister for Defence, in writing, on 18 June 2012:

(1) In respect of the areas associated with the trial Australian Defence Force (ADF) Family Health Care program, (a) what are the exact geographic areas and boundaries, (b) how many ADF dependants are located in each area, and (c) what proportion of ADF dependants have registered for the program in each area.

(2) In respect of ADF dependants, (a) what is the total number, (b) how many are registered for the trial ADF Family Health Care program, and (c) how many currently reside in areas not covered by the trial ADF Family Health Care program.

(3) Has Defence surveyed families not living in areas covered by the trial ADF Family Health Care program on whether or not they would be interested in registering for the program; if so, how many ADF members have been surveyed.

(4) When will the full ADF Family Health Care program be implemented.

(5) For how many years will the full ADF Family Health Care program be funded.

(6) In respect of the areas associated with the full ADF Family Health Care program, (a) what are the exact geographic areas and boundaries, (b) how many ADF dependants are located in each area, and (c) what proportion of ADF dependants are covered by the full program.

(7) In respect of the ADF Family Health Care programs, what is the cost per annum, for the (a) trial program, and (b) full program.

(8) Was the $50 million saved from delaying the introduction of the full ADF Family Health Care program (a) reinvested in Defence; if so, where, or (b) returned to consolidated revenue.


Mr Stephen Smith: the answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) The ADF Family Health Trial is available to ADF Dependants who are posted to and reside in the following locations:

Singleton (NSW);

Pilbara Region, including Karratha, Port Hedland, Tom Price, Newman, Derby, Exmouth and Carnarvon (WA);

Sale (VIC);

Cairns, including Weipa, Mt Isa and Thursday Island (QLD);

Katherine (NT);

Townsville, including Tully (QLD);

Darwin, including Alice Springs, Nhulunbuy (NT) and Kununurra and Broome (WA); and

Puckapunyal (VIC).

(b) Based on 2007 Defence Census data there are approximately 16,000 dependants living in Trial regions as follows:

Singleton = 297 Dependants;

Pilbara Region = 55 Dependants;

Sale = 551 Dependants;

Cairns (including Weipa, Mt Isa and Thursday Island) = 719 Dependants;

Katherine = 1054 Dependants;

Townsville = 6044 Dependants;

Darwin (including Alice Springs, Nhulunbuy, and Kununurra and Broome) = 5554 Dependants; and

Puckapunyal = 1537 Dependants.

(c) The estimated proportion of registered dependants in each region (as at 20 June 2012) based on the 2007 Defence census data is:

Singleton = 47 per cent

Pilbara Region = 73 per cent

Sale = 74 per cent

Cairns (including Weipa, Mt Isa and Thursday Island) = 61 per cent

Katherine = 40 per cent

Townsville = 34 per cent

Darwin (including Alice Springs, Nhulunbuy, and Kununurra and Broome = 31 per cent

Puckapunyal = 29 per cent

(2) (a) Based on the 2007 Defence Census there are approximately 70,000 dependants of permanent ADF members.

As at 20 June 2012 there are currently 5,630 dependants registered for the Trial.

Based on the 2007 Defence Census there are an estimated 54,189 dependants residing in areas not covered by the Trial.

(3)Yes, the views of Defence families not residing in Trial regions have been represented in every Defence Attitude Survey since 2008 which contains specific questions relating to the ADF Family Health Trial. Additionally, feedback from families not residing in Trial regions has been sought and included in various Trial evaluation activities such as online surveys as well as anecdotal feedback collected throughout the Trial period.

(4)Subject to Government approval the rollout of a National ADF Family Health Program is planned for 1 July 2013.

(5) Ongoing funding for the program is in the Defence budget.

(6)(a) The National ADF Family Health Program will enable all ADF dependants throughout Australia to participate.

(b) Based on the 2007 Defence Census there are approximately 70,000 dependants of permanent ADF members that will be covered by the National ADF Family Health Program.

(c) 100% of ADF Dependants residing in Australia will be eligible to enrol in the National ADF Family Health Program.

(7)(a) The budget for ADF Family Health for Financial Year 2012-13 is $10m.

(b) The current estimate is approximately $60 million per year.

(8) The trial was evaluated at the end of 2011 in preparation for a national rollout of this access to healthcare Australia wide in 2012-13. Take up of the services on offer was assessed as only in the order of 30 per cent of eligible participants. The full rollout has been deferred to enable further assessment of the basis for the low take up rate. The resulting savings of $50 million form part of the overall Defence Budget savings for 2012-13.