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Wednesday, 25 February 1987
Page: 600

Senator ARCHER —I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Housing and construction whether he acknowledges the appalling current problems of housing Australians, and the situation of both buyers and renters caused by record and rising interest rates, the consumer sell-off of rental housing following the introduction of the capital gains tax and other measures, rapidly rising waiting lists for government rental housing and inflationary new house costs caused by the value of the Australian dollar? What will be done about this?

Senator RYAN —Senator Archer's question made a number of claims with which I would not agree. I remind Senator Archer that the Government's economic strategy, including last year's Budget, is directed at providing an environment conducive to achieving lower interest rates. At this stage it appears that any reductions in market rates that may appear over the course of 1987 will not be sufficiently sustained or will not result in a reduction of loan interest rates in 1987. Accordingly it does appear unlikely that reductions in housing loan interest rates will occur until the first half of 1988 at the earliest.

Senator Chaney —Mr President, could I ask the Minister to table the paper from which she read?

Senator RYAN —Happily.