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Tuesday, 7 December 1976

Mr LYNCH - I believe that devaluation will have a beneficial impact on the industries concerned. As I have made perfectly clear before, the results of devaluation will be mixed in a series of industries but overall I believe it will have a beneficial impact. I remind the honourable member of what my colleague the Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development said recently. The honourable gentleman should be the first to be aware that recently there has been a very strong flow of finance into the housing industry. I will not take the time of the House to go through all the indicators, but if the honourable gentleman speaks to the authorities he will find that that strong flow of finance into the housing industry has in some areas been leading to an unsustainable position because of the pressure which it has been placing upon prices, and upon land prices in particular. I assure the honourable gentleman and the House that the decision to devalue and the monetary measures that the Government has taken will not interfere with an adequate flow of finance into the housing industry. We have made that perfectly clear. As I have said, the rates on official securities have been established. The rates on the savings bond have been established. As the honourable gentleman knows, it is a marginal movement from 9.8 per cent to 10 per cent. In some quarters the Government has been criticised because, in the view of some people, that movement is insufficient. I say to the honourable gentleman in relation to the savings bond and the bond market generally -

Mr Uren - But you know that it will go higher.

Mr LYNCH - The honourable gentleman is behaving in his usual irresponsible way. I was saying that that movement has ended. I made it clear in the House yesterday that no movement in bank administered interest rates is in contemplation.

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