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Wednesday, 22 March 1961

Mr JEFF BATE (MACARTHUR, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I address my question to the Attorney-General in his capacity as Minister representing the Minister for National Development. I ask whether in the last quarter housing activity has decreased significantly in the south Wollongong and Illawarra districts. Is the Government aware that if this is so there may be a shortage of new employees in the rapidly expanding steel industry and in ancillary heavy industries such as coal-mining? Also, is the Government aware that the housing development companies are curtailing their activities, giving as reasons the restriction of credit and inadequate water reticulation? Is it a fact that there was no intention to produce this result when the economic measures were brought down? When the Government is looking at the housing situation, will it consider this area as a special case? Is it a fact that the Australian steel industry is one of the most efficient in the world? If its maximum development is hampered, will this in turn prevent maximum development in Australia, reduce exports and in the long term increase imports of steel? Will the Government look at this as an extremely urgent matter? My question is supplementary to that asked by the honorable member for Cunningham yesterday.

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