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Wednesday, 3 June 1970

Mr Uren asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

(1)   Is it proposed to establish a new airport for Canberra; if so, where is it to be situated.

(2)   If a decision has not yet been made, when is a decision expected and when will details of the proposal be made available. .

Mr Swartz - The Minister for Civil Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   and (2) My Department, working closely with the Department of Air and the National Capital Development Commission, is reviewing the civil airport needs of Canberra, both current and long term. No firm conclusions or recommendations have been referred to me and I understand that it may be some weeks before this is possible. However, on receipt of the Committee's report I will make every endeavour to consider that report as a matter of urgency.

Social Services: Physiotherapy Treatment (Question No. 198)

Mr Stewart asked the Minister for

Health, upon notice:

(1)   What procedure has to be followed by a medical practitioner if he considers an eligible social service pensioner is in need of urgent physiotherapy treatment.

(2)   Does his Department allow medical practitioners to carry the necessary forms.

(3)   Can verbal approval for the treatment be obtained.

(4)   Is the patient ever examined by a departmental medical officer.

(5)   What time is likely to elapse between the request by the medical practitioner for approval and the commencement of the treatment. (6)Is it possible to improve the procedure.

Dr Forbes - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The information provided below relates only to the Australian Capital Territory and the

Northern Territory. Similar procedures, if operated in the various States, are the responsibility of State Governments.

(1)   Where a medical practitioner, practising in the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory considers an eligible Social Service pensioner to be in need of urgent physiotherapy treatment he may refer that patient, by letter, to either the Canberra Hospital or to a hospital in the Northern Territory, as appropriate.

(2)   Forms arc not in use for this service. The patient has only to present his letter of referral together with his Pensioner Medical Service Entitlement Card to the hospital authority.

(3)   to (5) Treatment is generally immediately available and therefore the need for verbal approval does not arise. There is no occasion for the patient to be examined by a departmental medical officer.

(6)   It is considered that the procedure is adequate, and is functioning satisfactorily in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. 1 understand that under the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service administered by the Department of Social Services eligible invalid and widows pensioners may be considered for rehabilitation treatment (including physiotheraphy) providing there are reasonable prospects of the pensioner commencing employment within 3 years. While each case is automatically considered for rehabilitation following grant of a pension it is possible for a medical practitioner or pensioner to request that his or her case be investigated for rehabilitation purposes. There are no special procedures or application forms. The request is merely made in person or in writing to the nearest office of the Department of Social Services.

Papua and New Guinea: Superannuation Investments (Question No. 1063)

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for

External Territories, upon notice:

What percentage of the funds of (a) the Superannuation Fund and (b) the Contract Officers Retirement Benefits Fund in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea are invested in (i) Territory industries (ii) Territory housing and (iii) Australian securities.

Mr Barnes - The answerto the honourable member's question is as follows:


Part of each fund is invested in Public Loans of the Territory. The proportions are 17.81% and 24.15% respectively.

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