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Tuesday, 29 November 1960

Mr J R Fraser ser asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice -

1.   How many houses are presently under construction for the National Capital Development Commission in the area between Canberra-avenue and Matina-street, Narrabundah, south-easterly from McMillan Circle towards Jerrabomberra Creek?

2.   What types of construction are being used, and how many houses of each type will be built?

3.   What is the (a) maximum, (b) minimum and (c) average size, in square feet, of allotments?

4.   What is the (a) maximum, (b) minimum and (c) average size of the houses under construction, stating the floor area in "squares" and the number of bedrooms, &c?

5.   What are the measurements of bedrooms in these houses?

6.   Are some of these houses being built in single wall construction with a type of cavity concrete brick?

7.   Has this type of construction been proved satisfactory, or found to be unsatisfactory, in Canberra?

8.   What type of underfloor ventilation is used in these concrete brick houses?

9.   What are the average minimum heights of foundations in the several types of houses under construction?_

10.   In some of the brick or brick veneer houses are underfloor ventilators at practically natural ground level?

11.   Are some of these houses being built almost on the edges of wide, deep and smelly drains or canals?

12.   If so, what steps are to be taken to protect the health of families and ensure the safety of young children?

13.   Was the area on which these houses are being constructed formerly marshy or swampy?

14.   Will these houses be allotted to Defence personnel on transfer from Melbourne to Canberra or will they be offered to home-hungry Canberra families already on the waiting list?

15.   Is his department or the National Capital Development Commission deliberately establishing separate classes of homes in separate suburbs?

16.   Are people already on the waiting list in Canberra and desperately anxious for housing for their families to be relegated to inferior homes?

17.   Were the designs of these houses, and their siting approved by the National Capital Planning Committee?

18.   Were delegates to the conference of the National Council of Women shown these houses when taken on a conducted tour of housing development in Canberra last week?

Mr Freeth - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   There are 50 houses under construction in the area specified.

2.   Two types of construction are being used - (a) Besser concrete masonry cavity block - 12 nouses; (b) brick veneer - 38 houses. 3. (a) Maximum area of allotments - 12,115.1 square feet; (b) minimum area of allotments - 6,397.9 square feet; (c) average area of allotments - 7,554.9 square feet. 4. (a) Maximum total floor area of houses - 10.6 squares (twelve houses); (b) minimum total floor area of houses - 10 squares (38 houses); (c) average total floor area of houses - 10.14 squares. All houses have three bedrooms; combined kitchen-dining rooms; living room; bathroom; laundry; separate toilet.

5.   Measurements of bedrooms are -

6.   Twelve houses are being built with concrete masonry cavity blocks.

7.   Some 40 houses have been constructed in Canberra from similar concrete cavity blocks and investigations by builders and architects concerned showed no record of complaints over the years concerning dampness or moisture penetration. However, the commission decided that one group only should be proceeded with at the present, to permit full examination of performance under Canberra conditions.

8.   The construction of under-floor ventilation in the houses is still incomplete. There are no specific requirements laid down for Canberra but standards in accordance with Building Research Station recommendations have been adopted for these works.

9.   The minimum heights of foundations are not less than 16 inches from finished sub-floor ground level to floor level.

10.   No under-floor ventilators will be at ground level. Clearances in general will be 4-6 inches and upwards.

11.   A number of open stormwater drains constructed some years ago exist within this subdivision. Provision for their diversion where necessary and for their construction was embodied in the original design in the whole estate development. Tenders were called on 5th November for the construction of the underground stormwater drains and this work will be completed before the houses are occupied.

12.   The sites of these houses and the general environment will be eminently satisfactory and healthy.

13.   The area is not considered to be marshy or swampy.

14.   These houses, when completed, will be offered both to Defence personnel and Canberra families already on the waiting list.

15.   No.

16.   No.

17.   No. The design of the houses and their siting were carried out by very competent house consultants, Messrs. Leith & Bartlett, and were approved by the commission. The site development and layout of the area was also required to be such as to provide a high standard of living conditions within the estate and at the same time to provide an embellishment to the amenity of the neighbourhood. It is considered that these objectives will be achieved.

18.   No.

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