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Friday, 12 September 1969

Mr BURY - The honourable member will recollect the former migrant hostel at Ainslie about which there was, when it was in operation, a continuous stream of complaints, many made by him. I received a number of deputations on this point. I recognised that there were many features about it which were unsatisfactory and in response to the representations made we closed it down. It is now used for other purposes. The question of the provision of transitory flats has been considered. I emphasise the word 'transitory'. This is temporary accommodation for a period of up to 6 months. My colleagues, the Minister for Immigration and the Minister for Housing, have this whole project currently under review and are considering various propositions for different parts of the Commonwealth. I can give the honourable member no information at this stage because it is a matter of policy which has not been decided upon. As far as migrants coming to Canberra are concerned, one knows that anyone coming here is faced with housing difficulties, except perhaps those within the Public Service who are transferred here and who get quite generous rent subsidies for a considerable time until permanent housing is available. But the problem of accommodation is being looked at in relation to this and other places. The matter will certainly not escape attention. We have had it continuously under review in relation to the supply of migrants, labour market requirements and permanent accommodation.

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