Department of the Legislative Assembly

ANSWERS TO WRITTEN QUESTIONS

22 February 2011

206. Child Protection Services

Mrs LAMBLEY to MINISTER for CHILDREN and FAMILIES

1. For each recommendation of the 2007 Bath Inquiry High Risk Audit report, have they been fully, partially implemented or not implemented at all? If partially implemented or not implemented at all, when will the recommendations be implemented?

2. For each recommendation of the Bath report into the Department of Children and Families (formerly NTFC) Intake System, have they been fully, partially implemented or not implemented at all? If partially or not implemented at all, when will the recommendations be implemented?

3. For each recommendation of the 2007 Jay Tolhurst report into the NTFC intake system of child protection, have they been fully, partially implemented or not implemented at all? If partially implemented or not implemented at all, when will the recommendations be implemented?

4. For each recommendation of the 2009 Coronial inquest in the death of Deborah Melville, have they been fully, partially implemented or not implemented at all? If partially implemented or not implemented at all, when will the recommendations be implemented?

5. How many Department of Children and Families’ residential care homes are currently providing care to children?

6. Where are those Department of Children and Families’ residential care homes located?

7. How many children under the care of the CEO are currently residing in a Department of Children and Families’ residential care home?

8. What are the ages of the children currently residing in Department of Children and Families’ residential care homes and how long has each child been residing in their current Department of Children and Families’ residential care home?

9. How many staff are allocated to each child by age who currently are residing in Department of Children and Families’ residential care homes?

10. How many children currently under the care of the CEO are residing interstate or are placed with carers who are residing interstate?

11. Given the announcement that the government will provide an extra $130m over five years to improve child protection services in the Territory, what amount of funding of that $130m will be provided to the Children’s Commissioner?

12. Has the minister investigated the claim made by Save the Children and reported in the Growing them strong, together report on page 255 that no notification made in relation to children on a town camp has resulted in children being removed to safety despite at times serious violence and neglect issues? If not, why not?

13. Since the Coroner handed down his report into the death of Deborah Melville, how many children in the care of the CEO have been placed with kinship carers and did the department undertake assessments of the capacity of each of these kinship carers to care for the child?

14. Has the minister instructed the department to review all child protection notifications that were ‘written off’; that is, closed off without investigation following the release of the Jay Tolhurst report into the child intake system? If not, why not?

15. As at 1 January 2010, how many children are in the care and protection of the CEO and how many of those children in care have current case management plans?

16. As at 1 January 2010, how many families have been placed on income management plans affecting 70% of their welfare payments?

ANSWER

1. The recent Board of Inquiry report, Growing them strong, together is considered the most comprehensive review of child protection ever undertaken in the history of the Northern Territory has incorporated, and in some cases expanded, on the recommendations of this report.

A copy of the High Risk Audit implementation update as at April 2011 is available on line at:

2. The recent Board of Inquiry report, Growing them strong, together is considered the most comprehensive review of child protection ever undertaken in the history of the Northern Territory has incorporated, and in some cases expanded, on the recommendations of this report.

3. The recent Board of Inquiry report, Growing them strong, together is considered the most comprehensive review of child protection ever undertaken in the history of the Northern Territory has incorporated, and in some cases expanded, on the recommendations of this report.

4. In the 2009 Coronial inquest in the death of Deborah Melville, 14 recommendations in total were made. Of the 14 recommendations, six have been implemented. Five of the 14 Melville Coronial recommendations will be incorporated into the Board of Inquiry recommendations.
    The majority of the coronial recommendations to be implemented are based on legislative change. Implementation plans are in place to have all remaining recommendations finalised by November 2011.

5. DCF has nine residential care homes.

6. Four of these homes are in Darwin and five are in Alice Springs.

7. Overall, 27 children under the care of the CEO are currently residing in a Department of Children and Families’ residential care home.

8. Darwin: seven children. See table below.

Age of Child
Length of Stay
9
Residing since 15 October 2010 (DR)
16
Residing since 15 October 2010 (KD)
15
Residing since 16 September 2010 (ES)
15
Residing since 2 November 2010 (TS)
13
Residing since 5 February 2011 (CR)
14
Residing since 23 August 2010 (NG)
17
Residing since 16 July 2010 (MI)


    Alice Springs: 20 children. See table below.
Age of Child
Length of Stay
9
Residing since 20 June 2010
1
Residing since 20 June 2010
10
Residing since 29 September 2010
12
Residing since 20 July 2009
17
Residing since 19 June 2009
2
Residing since 10 November 2010
4
Residing since 26 August 2010
6
Residing since 8 November 2010
7
Residing since 13 December 2010
7
Residing since 8 December 2010
12
Residing since 14 January 2011
6
Residing since 22 June 2010
8
Residing since 22 June 2010
11
Residing since 11 May 2010
13
Residing since 11 May 2010
13
Residing since 24 May 2010
13
Residing since 23 March 2011
10
Residing since 23 March 2011
7
Residing since 23 March 2011
6
Residing since 23 March 2011

9. Darwin: Two staff members per shift working on a three-shift roster, 7 am to 5 pm; 2 pm to 12 midnight; and 2 pm to 8 am.
      Alice Springs: Generally between two to six shifts per day. Staffing ratio depends on numbers and ages of children, medical needs and behavioural issues. The houses that have more than three children have at least two staff on during working hours, plus additional support staff if required.

    10. There are 44 children in care of the Chief Executive who are currently residing interstate.

    11. Over the next five years, $3.2m in additional funding will be provided to the Children’s Commissioner.

    12. The Save the Children report provided no specific identifying information on particular town camps referred to.

    13. There are 182 children in kinship care in the Northern Territory.

    14. DCF has undertaken the process of reviewing and auditing a randomly selected sample of the child protection notifications subject to the streamlined recording process. As a result of this audit it was determined that all cases would be reviewed. All contacts have now been subjected to a desktop exercise to determine which children have had subsequent case involvement with the department. Further assessment of the contacts relating to children who have not had subsequent case involvement with the department is being undertaken by a senior child protection worker to determine what action is appropriate.
      No intakes were written off; all were assessed and recorded as appropriate.

    15. As at 5 May 2011, 765 children were on protection orders and, of those children, all had case plans.

    16. Centrelink would be able to provide this information.


    29 March 2011

    210. Underground Power Delivery

    Mr ELFERINK to MINISTER for ESSENTIAL SERVICES

    There has been an ongoing program of improvements through the undergrounding of the power distribution network in Darwin suburbs.

    1. Could you please advise, as at 30 December 2010:
      (a) the total number of residential consumers that had underground power delivered from this program; and
      (b) the amount spent on the program?

    2. Could you please advise, for the year 2011:
      (a) the number of residential consumers that will be converted to underground power delivery; and
      (b) the cost expected to undertake that conversion?

    3. With regard to the completion of the project, please advise:
      (a) as at 28 February 2011, the number of residential consumers that are programmed for conversion to underground power; and
      (b) the estimated cost of that conversion.

    ANSWER

    There has been an ongoing program of improvements through the undergrounding of the power distribution network in Darwin suburbs.

    Power and Water has advised that, as at 31 March 2011, total number of customers connected is 1952. Number of residential customers to be connected is 10. Total cost to date is $56 873 059.


    23 June 2011

    248. Classification of Schools

    Ms PURICK to MINISTER for EDUCATION and TRAINING

    1. How many schools are in categories of urban, rural and remote?

    2. What is the fundamental difference in the classifications?

    3. What services does each classification of school receive?

    4. What are the boundaries for each of the classifications?

    5. What are the classifications for Humpty Doo, Bees Creek and Middle Point Primary Schools; and Taminmin College?

    ANSWER

    1. There is a total of 153 schools comprising of 43 Outer Regional Australia (Provincial), 31 Remote Australia (Remote) and 79 Very Remote Australia (Very Remote).

    2. The classifications are Australian Standard Geographical Classifications based on Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) and are used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics.
      The index is a number value between nought to 15. This number represents the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distance to the nearest town or service centre in each of the five population size classes. These are then used to divide up Australia into six geographical regions identified as follows: Remoteness Area Class ARIA Plus Score Range in the Class.

    Major Cities of Australia – Collection Districts (CDs) with an average ARIA index value of 0.2.

    Inner Regional Australia – CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 0.2 and less than or equal to 2.4.
      Outer Regional Australia – CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 2.4 and less than or equal to 5.92.
        Remote Australia – CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 5.92 and less than or equal to 10.53.

        Very Remote Australia – CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 10.53.

        3. The services schools receive are dependent on the school and community needs, inclusive of the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) and remoteness of the geographical classification.
          National Partnership Funding:

          Eligibility for participation in Low Socio-Economic Status Schools and Closing the Gap National Partnerships funding is based on geographical location.
          There are 135 Northern Territory schools participating in the Smarter Schools National Partnership. Schools were selected to participate based on their eligibility for the Low Socio-Economic Status School Communities, Closing the Gap and Literacy and Numeracy.
          Staffing:

          There are nine school types under the 2007 staffing formula, the majority being spread out over two or more geo-locations. See table below.

          Geo-location
          Outer RegionalRemoteVery Remote
          Senior schools - Years 10 to 12 (2007 Formula)
          XX
          Middle schools – Years 7 to 9 (2007 Formula)
          XX
          Primary schools – Preschool to Year 6
          XXX
          Area schools – Preschool to Year 9 (2007 Formula)
          XX
          Comprehensive schools – Years 7 to 12
          (2007 Formula)
          XXX
          Community schools – Preschool to Year 12
          (2007 Formula)
          X
          Small remote and very remote schools – Preschool to Year 9 (2007 Formula)
          XXX
          Some of the historical Department of Education and Training programs are based around geographical boundaries and allocations remain relatively consistent within the boundaries; for example, allocation of assistant teachers to all remote, predominantly Indigenous, small schools and community schools.
          School Grants:

          Schools receive equity funding based on their ICSEA and National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) risks. This effectively provides a higher level of funding to remote communities as these communities generally have a lower ICSEA than Darwin, Alice Springs and Katherine.
          Schools in remote communities also receive additional relief teacher funding, depending on location and remote category, to assist with the additional travel costs associated with employing relief teachers in remote communities. All schools receive 6.5 days of relief teacher funding per full-time equivalent teacher per annum. Remote schools may receive up to an additional three days per full-time equivalent teacher per annum depending on remote category.

          Essential services and property management funding is based on some additional costs linked to remote areas.
        4. See explanation above; however, broadly, Darwin, Palmerston and rural are classed as provincial; schools from Batchelor to Katherine, including the Daly region and Alice Springs township, are considered remote and the rest are very remote.

        5. These schools are all classified as provincial.


        249. Crisis Support Services – MensLine Service

        Mr ELFERINK to MINISTER for JUSTICE and ATTORNEY-GENERAL

        The group Crisis Support Services operates the MensLine service for men with relationship and family concerns and is the organisation to which clients are directed to in the Stop the Hurting, Start the Healing campaign.

        Could you please advise:

        1. the date at which the Northern Territory first provided funding to the MensLine referral service;

        2. the amount paid for the MensLine referral service in 2009 and 2010, where applicable; and

        3. the amount budgeted for the use of the referral service in 2011.

        Since 1 January 2011 to 31 May 2011, by month where applicable:

        4. how many calls were made to the MensLine service from clients in the Northern Territory;

        5. how many calls were not answered; and

        6. how many calls were received from the geographical areas of Darwin/Palmerston, Katherine, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and the NT remainder?

        ANSWER

        This question does not fall within my portfolio responsibilities as Minister for Justice and Attorney-General.


        250. NT WorkSafe – Bellin Report

        Mr ELFERINK to MINISTER for JUSTICE and ATTORNEY-GENERAL

        The Bellin report was conducted as an organisation assessment of NT WorkSafe and made a number of recommendations in relation to staffing levels in the department.

        Could you please advise:

        1. as at 30 June, for each of the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011;
          (a) the number of positions, and levels, of all workers in the NT WorkSafe organisation;
          (b) the positions and levels assigned permanently to the centres of Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin/Palmerston;
          (c) the number, and level, of positions vacant at that time; and

          (d) the number and level of positions where a person was acting on higher duties at that time.
        2. as at 30 June, for each of the years of 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011:

        (a) the number of staff, by position level that left the organisation;
            (b) the length of service of each member of staff that left the organisation, identified by position level;
            (c) the turnover rate of the organisation as a whole; and
            (d) the turnover rate in the centres of Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin/Palmerston.

          ANSWER

          1.
          (a) For the number and levels of all workers in NT WorkSafe as at 30 June each year, see table below.

          Designation
          2007
          2008
          2009
          2010
          2011
          AO2
          2
          2
          2
          1
          1
          AO3
          3
          2
          3
          2
          2
          AO4
          6
          7
          5
          8
          10
          AO5
          2
          5
          2
          2
          4
          AO6
          3
          4
          5
          6
          14
          AO7
          1
          0
          1
          1
          5
          SAO1 (formerly AO8)
          3
          0
          1
          1
          1
          SAO2 (formerly AO8)
          1
          5
          6
          6
          5
          EO1C
          0
          0
          1
          0
          1
          EO3C
          0
          1
          1
          1
          1
          NTPSA (Apprentice)
          2
          0
          0
          0
          0
          P2
          0
          0
          0
          1
          0
          P3
          0
          2
          2
          1
          2
          T3
          8
          7
          7
          5
          1
          T4
          9
          14
          16
          17
          9
          T5
          2
          8
          7
          7
          6
          T6
          1
          1
          2
          1
          1
          Grand Total
          43
          58
          61
          60
          63

              Includes casuals, workers on paid and unpaid leave and workers compensation.

              The FTE value for the total number of employees since transfer to the Department of Justice is as follows:

                  30 June 2009 59.96
                  30 June 2010 54.3
                  30 June 2011 55
              In 2008, positions and employees increased due to a restructure associated with the amalgamation of mines and electrical safety functions.

          (b) For number of positions and levels permanently assigned, see table below.
              Location
              Designation
              2007
              2008
              2009
              2010
              2011
              Alice Springs
              AO6
              0
              0
              0
              0
              1
              P3
              0
              1
              1
              0
              0
              T3
              0
              1
              0
              0
              0
              T4
              2
              2
              2
              2
              1
              T5
              0
              1
              2
              1
              1
              Alice Springs Total
              2
              5
              5
              3
              3
              Darwin
              AO2
              2
              2
              2
              1
              1
              AO3
              3
              2
              2
              2
              2
              AO4
              6
              6
              6
              6
              8
              AO5
              2
              4
              3
              2
              4
              AO6
              3
              4
              5
              6
              10
              AO7
              1
              0
              0
              0
              2
              SAO1 (formerly AO8)
              3
              0
              1
              1
              1
              SAO2 (formerly EO1)
              1
              5
              5
              4
              4
              EO1C
              0
              0
              1
              1
              1
              EO3C
              0
              1
              1
              1
              1
              NTPSA (apprentice)
              1
              0
              0
              0
              0
              P2
              0
              0
              1
              1
              0
              P3
              0
              1
              1
              1
              2
              T3
              8
              5
              6
              6
              2
              T4
              6
              11
              13
              14
              9
              T5
              2
              6
              5
              6
              5
              T6
              0
              1
              1
              1
              1
              Darwin Total
              38
              48
              53
              53
              53
              Katherine
              AO6
              0
              0
              0
              0
              0
              T3
              0
              1
              1
              1
              1
              T4
              1
              1
              1
              1
              1
              Katherine Total
              1
              2
              2
              2
              2
              Grand Total
              41
              55
              60
              58
              58
              This data does not capture casuals, workers on paid and unpaid leave and workers compensation.

              Employees within the NTPS are nominally held to a position at a level. The assignment of positions and/or resources to particular regions, or with particular industry focus, is made on the basis of workload demand. Positions are filled within FTE staff cap limits with priority given to frontline services.

              Where unable to recruit and fill positions within regions with appropriately skilled employees, existing resources will travel to other centres to support workload demands. At this time, NTWS maintains offices in Darwin, Alice Springs and Katherine. The current workload demand is in the Darwin and Alice Springs regions.

          (c) For positions actually vacant by level, as at 30 June each year, see table below.
              Designation
              2007
              2008
              2009
              2010
              2011
              AO2
              0
              0
              0
              0
              0
              AO3
              0
              0
              0
              1
              1
              AO4
              0
              0
              0
              1
              0
              AO6
              0
              0
              1
              0
              0
              EO1
              0
              0
              0
              0
              0
              SAO2
              0
              0
              0
              0
              0
              T3
              0
              0
              1
              1
              0
              T4
              0
              2
              3
              1
              3
              T5
              0
              0
              0
              0
              3
              T6
              0
              0
              0
              0
              0
              Grand Total
              0
              2
              5
              4
              7

              As at 30 June 2007, there were no vacant positions.
              As at 30 June 2008, there were two vacant positions at T4 level.
              As at 30 June 2009, there were five vacant positions at T3, T4 and AO6 levels.
              As at 30 June 2010, there were four vacant positions at T3, T4, AO4 and AO6 level.
              As at 30 June 2011, there were seven vacant positions at T3 and T4, AO2 and AO4 levels.
          (d) For the number and level of positions occupied by a person on temporary transfer/HD A as at 30 June each year, see table below.
              Designation
              2007
              2008
              2009
              2010
              2011
              AO3
              0
              0
              1
              1
              0
              AO4
              0
              1
              1
              3
              2
              AO5
              0
              3
              1
              0
              1
              AO6
              1
              1
              0
              3
              6
              AO7
              0
              0
              1
              1
              4
              AO8
              1
              0
              0
              0
              0
              EO1
              0
              0
              2
              0
              0
              P4
              0
              1
              0
              0
              0
              T3
              0
              1
              0
              0
              0
              T4
              0
              0
              2
              2
              3
              T5
              0
              2
              0
              0
              1
              T6
              0
              0
              2
              0
              0
              Grand Total
              2
              9
              10
              10
              17

              Higher duties allowance is paid to backfill:

          absences; for example, sick leave, recreational leave, maternity leave, long service leave;
            temporary transfers; for example, for short-term promotion or secondment;
              position reclassifications; for example, change of stream and JES review of position; and
                resignations and permanent transfers pending advertising and recruitment to vacancy.
                    As at 30 June 2007, two positions were occupied by a person on temporary transfer and/or higher duties allowance.
                    As at 30 June 2008, nine positions were occupied by a person on temporary transfer and/or higher duties allowance.
                    As at 30 June 2009, 10 positions were occupied by a person on temporary transfer and/or higher duties allowance.
                    As at 30 June 2010, 10 positions were occupied by a person on temporary transfer and/or higher duties allowance.
                    As at 30 June 2011, 17 positions were occupied by a person on temporary transfer and/or higher duties allowance.
                2.
                (a) Information requested would place in the public domain details attributable to an individual and therefore breach privacy. The information has not been provided at the individual designation. In the interests of transparency, collated information for classification streams is provided.
                    Separation figures include resignations, cessation of casual and temporary contracts, retirements, terminations and invalidity. For the number of NTWS employees by stream who have separated, see table below.

                    Designation
                    2007
                    2008
                    2009
                    2010
                    2011
                    Administration/Executive
                    5
                    12
                    5
                    6
                    3
                    Technical/Professional
                    7
                    7
                    5
                    9
                    8
                    Total NTWS Separations
                    12
                    19
                    10
                    15
                    11
                (b) Information requested would place in the public domain details attributable to an individual and therefore breach privacy, the information has not been provided at the individual designation. In the interests of transparency, collated information for classification streams is provided. See table below.

                Stream
                Average Length of Service in Years
                Highest Length of Service
                Administration/Executive
                1.81
                *27.57
                Technical/Professional
                6.40
                30.26
                *Employee retired.

                    Separation figures include resignations, cessation of casual and temporary contracts, retirements, terminations and invalidity.

                    For administrative stream separations, the highest length of service was 27.57 years. The average length of service of those separating from the administrative stream is 1.81 years.

                    For technical/professional stream separations, the highest length of service was 30.26 years. The average length of service of those separating from the technical/professional stream is 6.4 years.

                (c) For NTWS turnover, as at 30 June each year, see table below.
                    2007
                    2008
                    2009
                    2010
                    2011
                    29.20%
                    41.30%
                    15.60%
                    25.40%
                    18.03%

                    Figure has been calculated based on separation of permanent and temporary staff separations. Separation figures include resignations, retirements, terminations and invalidity.

                (d)

                  For the number and level of positions occupied by a person on temporary transfer/HDA, as at 30 June each year, see table below.
                    2007
                    2008
                    2009
                    2010
                    2011
                    Darwin
                    26.20%
                    32.70%
                    15.60%
                    23.50%
                    12.70%
                    Katherine
                    100.00%
                    0.00%
                    0.00%
                    0.00%
                    100.00%
                    Alice Springs
                    50.00%
                    16.70%
                    20.00%
                    75.00%
                    33.00%

                    Calculations rely on individual employee locations. PIPS data capture by region is not compulsory; therefore, employee addresses have been used to identify employees by region. Data can only be relied upon based on the assumption that all employees live and work in the same location, and that all employees have maintained or updated their address information in the central repository.

                    Figure has been calculated based on separation of both permanent and temporary staff.

                    Separation figures include resignations, cessation of casual and temporary contracts, retirements, terminations and invalidity.


                18 August 2011

                251. Data Centre Services

                Mr MILLS to MINISTER for BUSINESS and EMPLOYMENT

                1. What is the per employee cost of supplying data services across the public service?

                2. As at 31 May 2011, how many terabytes of information are stored?

                3. What is the purchase cost of a terabyte of storage?

                4. What is the rate of increase in data storage on a monthly basis for 2011?

                ANSWER

                1. Total cost of data storage is $85.33 per paid employee per year.

                2. Total amount of data storage capacity as at 31 May 2011 is 383 terabytes. It is estimated that 70% to 75% of this capacity is utilised.

                3. Purchase cost is $1098 per terabyte for high performance enterprise storage disk.

                4. Average rate of increase is 9.9 terabytes per month.


                257. Stamp Duty Collected From Property Under Control of the Waterfront Corporation

                Mr MILLS to TREASURER

                The Darwin Waterfront Corporation was created to deliver redevelopment of historic industrial land and port-related infrastructure through a public/private partnership.

                Could you advise, for each financial year from 2006-07 to 2010-11, the amount of stamp duty collected from the sale or lease of property within the area under the control of the Waterfront Corporation?

                ANSWER

                The Territory Revenue Office Taxation Administration System stores information based on taxpayers and not on property location. Therefore, information on stamp duty associated with conveyances of property based on particular locations is not available.
                Last updated: 04 Aug 2016