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Wednesday, 31 March 1965

Senator WOOD (Queensland) . - I have listened to this debate with very keen interest. I feel that Senator Wright has brought forward some points that should be considered by the Committee. Whether that should be done under clause 4 or clause 5 is a legal question. In limiting these advances to three types of financial institutions, I believe that the Government is not casting the net wide enough to allow people a sufficiently large area from which to choose sources of finance. Let us consider the three types of lenders that have been chosen. First, there are the insurance companies. What have they done in the past to lend money for housing? I think Senator Wright pointed out that they have forced people to take out insurance policies over a period of time, which has resulted in an increase in the cost of their homes.

So far as the trading banks are concerned, while I stand on certain principles, I believe that there are some banks in Australia which are notorious for the pressure tactics they use. I know that the Bank of New South Wales is notorious in the travel world for the pressure it exerts on its clients in order to get business. These are the kinds of people to whom we will give exclusive rights. The building societies are in a different category. But I believe that we should spread the net as widely as possible for the purpose of securing funds. Senator McKenna referred to other groups of lenders who might be able to supply funds for the purpose of housing. I do not agree with the view that has been advanced tonight that there is a fear that the legislation might collapse if we widened the lending field and did not concentrate on certain people. I think it is entirely wrong for the Government to specify certain classes of lenders, as set out in the Bill. I believe that we should open up all avenues of finance as much as possible.

The Minister for Defence (Senator Paltridge), for whom I have the highest regard, has handled the Bill in this chamber. He indicated that the Minister for Housing (Mr. Bury) gave a certain assurance in another place that the field might be widened later. As members of Parliament, we should deal with legislation as it is before us. We can consider a legislative enactment only as we read it. We cannot consider assurances. We must have regard to the Bill that is before us. I say that we must consider it as it is set out before us. Therefore, I propose to support the amendment.

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