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Tuesday, 21 June 1949


Mr LEMMON (FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Works and Housing) - The honorable member's question is couched in general terms. He has made no specific charge that any groups of houses are in a bad state of repair. Not all the houses built by housing authorities in the States which are parties to the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement necessarily come under that agreement. Apart from the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement, each State had its own housing authority functioning under State legislation. They are known as workers' homes boards, or State housing commissions. In Western Australia for instance there is a workers' homes board. South Australia is not a signatory to the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement, and the South Australian Housing Trust continues to function under State law. Although the greater proportion of the homesbuilt to-day by the various State housing authorities are built under the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement, some of the State authorities are also carrying out schemes of their own. The Commonwealth exercises certain authority over all houses built under the agreement, but it has no control over purely State activities. To ensure that certain standards of construction shall be adhered to a Commonwealth officer in each State inspects houses that are being built under the agreement. There have been cases in all States in which contractors have found themselves in financial difficulties, and the State housing authorities have had to complete unfinished houses, but that is inevitable in any housing scheme of this magnitude. Generally speaking, the Commonwealth is satisfied with the work of the State authorities, which is subject to Commonwealth supervision and inspection.







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