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Notice given 25 March 2011

541  Senator Cormann: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) What was the involvement of the Treasurer or department in the new health proposal, including:

(a) the process behind how this new health agreement came about; and

(b) at what time and on what date the decision was made to overhaul the first National Health and Hospital Plan.

(2) Was the Treasurer or department:

(a) made aware of what was wrong with the National Health and Hospital Network; and

(b) advised that it needed to be scrapped.

(3) When were the Treasurer or department first made aware that a new health proposal was being considered.

(4) Who advised the Treasurer or department that a new health proposal was being considered.

(5) When were the Treasurer or department first asked to provide advice.

(6) In relation to any advice sought from the Treasurer or department:

(a) what was the nature of the advice sought;

(b) when was the information sought; and

(c) when was the advice provided.

(7) Did the Treasurer or department provide costings advice to the Prime Minister, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet or any other department in relation to the new health proposal; if so:

(a) when was any advice in relation to costings provided;

(b) to whom or to which department was it provided; and

(c) when was the advice provided.

 

 (8) How long was the Treasurer or department given to cost the new health deal and was there agreement on the costs.

(9) Given that Labor’s new health proposal only relates to ‘growth’, not existing hospital costs and the Commonwealth will fund up to 45 per cent of the growth in hospital costs in 2014-15 and up to 50 per cent in 2017-18, which is estimated to cost $16.4 billion, and noting that all of the promised increase in Commonwealth funding is beyond the forward estimates:

(a) where is the money coming from;

(b) how was the figure of $16.4 billion arrived at;

(c) what assumptions have been used;

(d) can a copy of all costings documents, including supporting documents, be provided;

(e) how accurate are costings for items beyond the forward estimates;

(f) what assurance can be given as to the accuracy of the health costings; and

(g) what guarantees do the taxpayers of Australia have that the costings will not change.

(10) In relation to the estimated cost of $16.4 billion, how will this be funded.

(11) Given that the Government can commit to the spending now, can a list be provided detailing offsetting savings; if not, will the proposal be funded from general revenue.

(12) Is the Treasurer or department aware of why the National Funding Authority was dumped.

(13) Is the Treasurer or department aware of the parameters of the National Funding Pool.

(14) Who was responsible for the decision to introduce the National Funding Pool, and in relation to this:

(a) what role did the Treasurer or department have in relation to the introduction of the National Funding Pool;

(b) when was the decision made; and

(c) if the decision was made by another Minister or department, when was the Treasurer or his department made aware of its proposed introduction.

(15) What is the difference between the dumped National Funding Authority and the National Funding Pool, and can an outline of the parameters of each be provided, including:

(a) management structures;

(b) responsibilities;

(c) accountability;

(d) funding;

(e) reporting framework;

(f) Commonwealth legislative requirements for the establishment of each body;

(g) state and territory legislative requirements for the establishment of each body; and

(h) Commonwealth and state and territory ‘accounts’.

 

 (16) Did the Treasurer or department have any input or role in relation to the drafting of the Heads of Agreement - National Health Reform document; if so, can details be provided.

(17) Given that, in the health and ageing incoming brief to government, there is a reference to the Health Expenditure Working Group which has been established under the deputy heads of Treasury structure to quantify the costs of services agreed for transfer to government under the agreement (the first agreement) which will inform the amount of goods and services tax (GST) revenue to be withheld in the Commonwealth forward estimates for dedication to health and hospitals:

(a) did the department prepare any advice on the amount of GST required;

(b) was it quantified; if so, what was the amount;

(c) was it the case that the amount of GST to be recovered under the 30 per cent clawback would not have been sufficient to cover the health and hospitals costs that were going to be needed over the forward estimates; and

(d) if this is the case, was the dumping of the 30 per cent GST clawback a hollow decision.

543  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) What is the target audience for the Australia Network, and was it determined by market research; if so, is this research publicly available.

(2) Has the department undertaken any studies to determine whether the Australia Network is reaching the determined target audience; if so: (a) when were the studies undertaken; and (b) what were the results.

(3) Did the department undertake a study of the Australia Network’s effectiveness before the Government announced that it would put out to tender a new 10 year contract.

(4) Does the department consider that television remains the best medium for reaching the determined target audience; if so, why.

544  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Has the department undertaken any studies into the effectiveness of new social media in its public diplomacy campaigns; if so: (a) when were they undertaken; and (b) what were the results.

(2) How many Australian embassies have: (a) Facebook; (b) Twitter; and (c) YouTube accounts, and where are these embassies located.

545  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) How many ambassadors/high commissioners are fluent in the official language of the country in which they are currently posted.

(2) How many departmental officials are considered fluent in: (a) Bahasa Indonesia or other Indonesian dialects; (b) Japanese; (c) Mandarin; (d) Hindi; (e) Korean; (f) Arabic; (g) French; and (h) German.

 

 547  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—For each calendar year, from 2005 to 2010, how many overseas delegations were sponsored by the department, including:

(a) which countries the delegations were from;

(b) the names and positions of each delegation member; and

(c) the total cost to the Government of these delegations.

549  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—For each overseas trip since the 2010 election, how many departmental officials accompanied the Minister, including: (a) the staff member’s position; and (b) the total cost to the Government of their travel.

552  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Of the 487 Australian adviser positions in Papua New Guinea that were considered by the AusAID review, how many are currently filled by former AusAID staff.

(2) How many Canberra-based AusAID officials have travelled to Papua New Guinea since the 2010 election, including: (a) the cost of their travel; (b) the location of their stay; (c) the names of the hotels in which they stayed; (d) the total cost of their accommodation; and (e) if any additional security measures were required for their travel, the cost.

(3) How many AusAID officials have visited the Southern Highlands region of Papua New Guinea since the 2010 election.

553  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—For each calendar year, from 2005 to 2010, how many overseas business class flights were taken by Canberra-based AusAID staff.

554  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—For each calendar year, from 2005 to 2010, what were the top 10 countries visited by Canberra-based AusAID staff.

556  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) How many cases of alleged corruption in Papua New Guinea: (a) are currently being investigated; and (b) were investigated in each calendar year, from 2005 to 2010, including how many of these cases resulted in: (i) dismissal, (ii) a fine, (iii) demotion, and (iv) any other penalty being handed down.

(2) For each calendar year, from 2005 to 2010, what sum of money was lost to corruption in Papua New Guinea.

557  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—For each calendar year, from 2005 to 2010: (a) how many AusAID contracts with service providers were terminated due to corruption or project mismanagement; and (b) can the names of these service providers be provided.