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Wednesday, 15 March 1961

Mr FREETH (FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for the Interior) - I should have thought it would have been fairly obvious that all costs have increased considerably - that wages and incomes have increased considerably - since any previous adjustments were made to rents for government-owned dwellings in the Australian Capital Territory. It is obviously quite impossible for the Government to go on meeting the demand for housing if it is doing so at a considerable loss, and the increase in rents is designed primarily to assist the Government to meet the continuing demand for housing in the Australian Capital Territory.

So far as the question of degree of increase goes, I venture to suggest that in no capital city of Australia are government houses available for rent on more generous terms than they are in the Australian Capital Territory. For those families suffering hardship, as the honorable member reminds us, there is a rental rebate system which is taken from the original Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement. If any cases of hardship are brought to my notice over and above that, they will be closely examined.

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