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Tuesday, 11 April 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT - I made no recent announcement to that effect. The announcement was made at the time of the presentation of the Budget in 1959.

Mr Ward - You repeated it in this House recently.

Mr HAROLD HOLT - I have just said that the announcement was made in 1959. I was correcting a misunderstanding on the part of some honorable gentlemen opposite by reminding them that the announcement of the Government's decision had been made at that time. I have every reason to believe that my colleague, the Minister for Immigration, has been successfully maintaining since that date the level of immigration that was then announced. As to the situation in Victoria, 1 did not follow clearly the detail of the honorable member's question. I know it is a matter for some satisfaction on the part of the Premier of that State and his colleagues that Victoria, apparently, is attracting a rather larger proportion of migrant settlers than other States. This has produced some growing pains for Victoria, but the Victorian Government gladly accepts them as an inevitable consequence of the developmental process that is going on there. I remind honorable members that the formula for reimbursements to the States which was arrived at in 1959 or early in I960 provides for full effect to be given to population increase, and also for a betterment factor which will have the effect of increasing reimbursements to certain States as time goes on. These provisions should assist Victoria to provide the necessary facilities for its growing population.

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