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Tuesday, 21 August 1984
Page: 66

Senator Grimes —On 6 October 1983 (Hansard, page 1234) Senator Bjelke-Petersen asked me, as Minister representing the Minister for Health, a question without notice concerning the Medicare funding.

The Minister for Health has provided the following information:

The Medicare agreement between the Commonwealth and Queensland governments provides for a provisional grant to Queensland in 1983-84 (five months only) of $29m, with an estimated payment of $79.2m for the current financial year.

These figures include payments in respect of a special grant of $35m in a full year, over and above the general Medicare provisions.


Senator Grimes —On 13 June 1984 (Hansard, page 2915), Senator Messner asked Senator Ryan a question about industrial action in the Department of Social Security. Senator Ryan referred the question to me for reply.

The answer is as follows:

On 9 May 1984 the Administrative and Clerical Officers Association and the Australian Public Service Association imposed limited work bans in Social Security regional offices in New South Wales in response to a move to reduce staff numbers in line with failing unemployment benefit workloads in the Department.

All bans were lifted from 28 June 1984 following votes by staff association members in New South Wales to accept the terms of settlement of the dispute offered by the Government.

The dispute had nothing to do with the introduction of an assets test.

During the dispute bans were placed on the processing of overpayments and on checks of identity but they were not applied with any uniformity. With the lifting of bans those overpayments which were not processed during the dispute are now being actioned.

The cost of the income and assets test for 1983-84 financial year was $20,772, 149.