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Thursday, 10 May 1984
Page: 1999

(Question No. 666)


Senator Jones asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing and Construction, upon notice, on 29 February 1984:

(1) How many cases of fraud has the Department of Housing and Construction detected in relation to the first home owners scheme?

(2) How many cases of overpayment have been detected?

(3) Can the Minister for Housing and Construction provide details of any such cases?

(4) What are the penalties involved for these offences, and under what Act are they covered?


Senator Grimes —The Minister for Housing and Construction has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) None, although my Department is investigating a number of cases in which it appears there may have been some attempt to defraud the Commonwealth.

(2) None, however to date 10 cases of possible unlawful payment have been identified and are being referred to the appropriate authorities for possible prosecution.

(3) No. It would not be appropriate to divulge information on investigations in progress.

(4) The First Home Owners Act 1983 provides a range of penalties of up to $2, 000 and/or imprisonment for 12 months, with provision also for repayment of any amount unlawfully received.