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Monday, 4 December 2017
Page: 12515

Aged Care

(Question No. 824)

Ms Sharkie asked the Minister for Aged Care, in writing, on 14 September 2017:

In respect of My Aged Care home care packages:

(1) Can he provide detail on the average waiting time (a) on the national priority queue for a home care package, and (b) for residents of the electorate of Mayo.(2) Are applicants for a home care package notified that there is a national priority queue and that they will have to wait for their application to proceed, and if so, are applicants advised of their expected waiting time.(3) What steps is the Government taking to reduce waiting times, especially for applicants deemed as a high priority.

Mr Wyatt: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

1. (a) The average wait time is not available.

(b) The average wait time is not available for residents of the electorate of Mayo.

2. Yes. Clients not yet approved for home care can view general information on maximum expected wait times on

During the assessment process for a home care package the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will explain the approval and queue process to the client and provide a hard copy of the Your Guide to home care package services for reference after the assessment process. Once approved, clients can check their individual expected wait time for a home care package by calling the My Aged Care contact centre or via the My Aged Care client portal.

3. The Australian Government is taking steps to reduce waiting times for all people approved for a home care package. Due to the evidence provided by the first Home Care Packages Program Data Report 27 February - 30 June 2017, which showed strong demand for higher level packages, the Government immediately responded by releasing an additional 6,000 level 3 and 4 home care packages. This was done by converting some low level (1 and 2) packages in to the higher level (3 and 4) packages.


(Question No. 827)

Ms Rebekha Sharkie: asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs on 14 September 2017:

In respect of concerns regarding the treatment of Palestinian children by the Israeli military, as identified in reports from UNICEF and Military Court Watch, including that most children do not have parents or legal counsel present during interrogation; 75 per cent report physical violence; a quarter are made to sign a statement in a language they do not understand; and up to 60 per cent are transferred into Israel, restricting the access of family members:

(1) What representations, if any, has the Australian Government made to the Government of Israel on these issues since November 2016.

(2) Is the Government aware of any substantive improvement over the last twelve months to the conditions that Palestinian children face in military custody.

Ms Bishop: the answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) Since November 2016, the Australian Government has continued to express its interest in, and concerns over, Israeli security and judicial practices towards Palestinian minors. In October 2017, the Australian Government clearly stated these concerns in representations, by a senior official from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to the Israeli Embassy in Canberra. In August 2017, the same senior official from the Department [of Foreign Affairs and Trade] raised the issue during meetings with Israeli officials in Israel. The Australian Embassy in Israel has also made representations to the Government of Israel on three occasions since November 2016: to the head of COGAT, the Israeli Defence Force arm responsible for the civilian population in the Palestinian Territories, in July 2017; to the Ministry of Defence in February 2017; and to the Ministry of Justice in February 2017.

(2) The Australian Government is aware that Israel has taken a number of steps to improve conditions for minors in detention. We continue to monitor progress on reforms, including through our Embassy in Tel Aviv.