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Notice given 17 November 2005

1360  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—With reference to Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) funding arrangements:

(1) For each of the financial years 2001-02 to 2005-06, what is the funding allocated to each NTRB.

(2) Is the funding for NTRBs indexed; if so, on what basis (e.g. Consumer Price Index).

(3) For the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06, how many funding modules for assistance for specific native title claims or Independent Land Use Agreements (ILUA) were submitted by NTRBs throughout Australia.

(4) (a) What methodology and criteria were used by the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination (OIPC) to assess, approve or reject these submissions; and (b) who formally approves the submissions.

(5) For the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06, how many funding modules for assistance for specific native title claims or IULAs: (a) were approved by OIPC; and (b) were rejected by OIPC.

(6) Can a list be provided of the native title claims that did not receive funding in the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06.


 (7) How many native title claims have not received representation due to a lack of funding in the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06.

(8) Were NTRBs given notice regarding the denial of funding for specific claims.

(9) How and when were NTRBs consulted in the process of determining which claims would receive funding.

(10) Does the Government intend to commit funding to the claims that presently lack funding; if so, when, and can details be provided for each claim.

1361  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Human Services—For each of the past 5 financial years and for 2005-06 to date: (a) how many customers received a Pensioner Education Supplement (PES); and (b) can the total number of PES recipients be broken down by: (i) state and territory, (ii) federal electorate, (iii) gender, (iv) age group, and (v) payment type.

1362  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to Aboriginal Hostels Limited (AHL):

(1) Why has the number of community-operated hostels, which in the 2000-01 financial year numbered 86 according to the AHL annual report for 2004-05, declined from 82 to 72 since the 2002-03 financial year.

(2) (a) Has the demand for Aboriginal hostels increased or decreased between the years 2000 to date; and (b) what data is used to measure demand.

(3) Have any assessments of need for Aboriginal hostels been made by AHL or the department; if so, when and: (a) can a list be provided of these assessments or surveys; and (b) can copies of any associated assessments and/or statistical reports be provided.

(4) With reference to the five community-operated hostels which had their funding removed due to their inability to comply with their service level agreements, as recorded on page 23 of the AHL annual report for 2004-05: (a) can a copy be provided of the ‘service level agreements’ that apply to hostels; (b) when were these service level agreements introduced; (c) what requirements do they impose on the hostels; (d) how many hostels had their funding withdrawn in the financial years 2002-03 and 2003-04; (e) can a list be provided of the hostels which lost their funding in the 2004-05 financial year; (f) for each of the hostels, how long were they receiving government funds; (g) what level of funding was previously allocated to each of the hostels; (h) on what dates was funding for each of the hostels cut; (i) with which term or terms of the service level agreement did these hostels fail to comply; (j) what act or omission constituted the failure to comply; (k) were the hostels given notice of intention to cut funding, due to non-compliance; if so, when; (l) were any steps taken to assist the hostels in complying with the agreement; if so, what were they; (m) how much time was given to the hostels to comply; (n) did the hostels provide the agency with an explanation of their non-compliance; if so, what was the explanation; and (o) what has happened to the funds that were taken back from the hostels.

(5) Can the department confirm that in the 2004-05 financial year, community-based hostels were allocated $8 300 000 and company-operated hostels were allocated $33 224 000, and that the community-based hostels provided more available beds over the period.

(6) Why do community-based hostels provide more available beds than company-operated hostels while receiving less funding.


 (7) For the financial years 2002-03 to 2004-05, what was the average annual cost per bed to the Commonwealth for: (a) community-based hostels; and (b) company-operated hostels.

(8) Do community-based hostels receive funding from other sources; if so, from where and how much.

(9) Are Community Development Employment Project workers employed in community-based hostels; if so, what percentage of the workforce do they represent.

(10) (a) What percentage of staff in company-operated hostels are Indigenous; and (b) what percentage of staff in community-operated hostels are Indigenous.

(11) (a) What was the target of guest capacity in the 2003-04 financial year for community-operated hostels; (b) what is the target for the 2005-06 financial year; (c) can an explanation be given for any increases or decreases; and (d) has this been reflected in the amount of funding provided to community-operated hostels.

1363  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS):

(1) Can details be provided of any specific measures (including funding) to target FAS: (a) in the National Alcohol Strategy from 2001 to 2003-04; and (b) under other components of the health budget.

(2) With reference to the occasional paper, ‘Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Literature Review’ published by the department in August 2002, commissioned by the National Expert Advisory Committee on Alcohol and written by Colleen O’Leary: (a) what was the Government’s response to this paper; (b) has this response been fully implemented; if not, what in the response is outstanding; and (c) what action has the Government taken since the release of this paper.

(3) Given that the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit commenced active surveillance of FAS in January 2001, with monthly reporting by more than one thousand paediatricians in Australia; and given that the occasional paper states that the study was to continue for 3 years and aims to document the incidence of FAS: (a) has this study been completed; if so, when; if not, when will it be completed; (b) was a report prepared by the unit at the completion of the study; if so, can a copy be provided; (c) what were the conclusions of the study; (d) can any statistics that were identified in relation to FAS be provided; (e) did the report contain any recommendations; if so, what were they; (f) what has been the response of the Government to the conclusions of this study; and (g) what steps has the Government taken to respond to the study.

(4) What specific measures to target FAS does the National Alcohol Strategy 2005-09 contain, particularly in relation to Indigenous communities.

(5) (a) How much funding is allocated to these specific measures and can a breakdown be provided by: (i) departmental costs, and (ii) administered funds; and (b) where are these funds set out in the budget papers.

(6) Can a list be provided of administered funds, per activity, and departmental costs under the National Alcohol Strategy 2005-09.


 (7) Can the department confirm plans to establish a national working group on FAS; if so: (a) when will this group be established; (b) what will be the objectives of this group; (c) what will be the time frame for achieving these objectives; (d) who will be represented in this working group; (e) how long will this group exist; (f) how many times a year will the group meet; (g) how much funding will be allocated to the establishment and operation of this group; (h) where will this funding come from; and (i) where is the funding located in the budget papers.