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Thursday, 9 March 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT - I intimated yesterday the extent to which the Commonwealth Government is involved in its Budget in assistance to home building in this country. Further assistance is given, of course, through banking instrumentalities under the general administration of the Commonwealth Government. The honorable member speaks of amounts of £1 ,500,000 being required in each of two centres. Of course, if that amount were multiplied by the many centres in Australia which require similar assistance, very large sums would be involved. I shall examine the question. I cannot give the honorable member any policy statement at this point, but I am weil aware of the need, as are my colleagues of the Government, to ensure that a good level of building activity, particularly home building activity, is maintained. It reached boom proportions last year and some reduction from that scale was desirable in the national interest. On the other hand, we do not want a depressed building industry. That consideration will determine the Government's policy on this matter.

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