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Wednesday, 10 October 1973
Page: 1905

Mr Lynch asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   Are (a) the Australian Council for the Arts, (b) the Council of the Australian Film and Television School, (c) the Australian Film Development Corporation and (d) the Australian National Gallery Aquisitions Committee preparing annual reports for 1972-73.

(2)   If so, when will the reports be completed.

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

(1)   and (2) (a) The Australian Council for the Arts will prepare a report on its operations for the calendar y ear 1973, and this report is expected to be published d aily in 1974.

(b)   The Film and Television School has only recently achieved statutory status and is not yet fully operational. It is not being asked to furnish a separate report for 1972-73, but a report covering activities from its inception to June 1973 will be included in the report for 1973-74.

(c)   The Australian Film Development Corporation has prepared an annual report for the year 1972-73. The completed report is presently awaiting the AuditorGeneral's certificate, and once this is obtained, it will be presented to Parliament.

(d)   The Acquisitions Committee of the National Gallery was established only in February this year and it is not being asked to furnish a separate report for 1972-73. However, a report on its activities from February to June 1973, along with a resume of the acquisitions activities of its predecessor, the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, which had no requirement to report, will be incorporated in a report for 1973-74.

Transport: Off-peak Travel (Question No. 861)

Mr Lynch asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice:

What action has the Government taken to provide grants to urban public transport authorities on the condition that they provide free off-peak travel.

Mr Charles Jones - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Treasurer in his Budget Speech announced the provision of $32m this financial year for upgrading urban public transport services. This marks the commencement of a program of assistance to the States to provide efficient and economic public transport systems in Australian cities.

The development of this program with the States has been regarded as our top priority in the field of urban public transport.

The question of providing grants for free off peak travel has not been considered within the context of the assistance program. It will be examined at a later date in consultation with the State transport authorities.

Domiciliary Nursing CareBenefits (Question No. 882)

Mr Snedden asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

(1)   How many applications have been received for the domiciliary nursing care benefit since its inception.

(2)   How many of these applications have been rejected.

(3)   What were the major reasons for rejection.

(4)   What is the age distribution of approved patients.

Mr HAYDEN (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) The following table shows the numbers of applications for domiciliary nursing care benefit received, approved, rejected and still under consideration for each State for the period 1 March 1973 to 14 September 1973.


(3)   The major reasons for rejection of applications for the benefit are that the Director-General or his delegate has not been satisfied, in accordance with section 58e (3) of the National Health Act, that the infirmity or illness, disease, incapacity or disability of the patient is such that, if he sought admission to a nursing home, his admission would be approved. (In this regard, it should be remembered that one of the most important objectives of the Domiciliary Nursing Care Benefit Scheme is to encourage relatives to provide care in their own homes for patients who would otherwise be admitted to a nursing home).

Departmental procedures provide that in normal situations, an application is not to be rejected on medical grounds unless prior consultation has taken place between the patient's doctor and a departmental medical officer.

A further common reason for rejection is that the patient's age is less than 65 years. Section 58e (3) (b) provides that to be eligible, a patient must have attained the age of 65 years.

(4)   A survey of ages of patients in respect of whom payment of domiciliary nursing care benefit has been approved indicated that the percentage in each age group was:


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