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Wednesday, 29 September 1971
Page: 1716

Mr Bryant asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice:

(1)   Does it take unduly long time to obtain valuations on Government houses in Canberra; if so, why.

(2)   Are there any criteria used in establishing the sale value of Government houses other than cost of house plus cost of land.

(3)   If so, what is the justification for these criteria.

Mr Hunt - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   At present it takes an average processing time of eight weeks from the date of application by a tenant to obtain a valuation and prepare an offer of sale. This is not considered to be an unduly long time having regard to the necessary inspection, administrative and accounting procedures involved and the need for the available staff to continue also to provide other services to the public.

(2)   Government houses are sold at current market value.

(3)   It is considered proper that public assets in Canberra in the form of Government houses should not be sold at less than current market value. This principle parallels the position with private house sales and a tenant-purchaser, after five years, has the right to dispose of his house on the open market.

Psychiatric Hospitals (Question No. 4167)

Dr Klugman asked the Minister for

Social Services, upon notice:

(1)   Are long term patients in psychiatric hospitals entitled to receive (a) an age pension, (b) an invalid pension and (c) sickness benefits.

(2)   Is their eligibility for pension and benefits affected because they are (a) voluntary or (b) committed patients.

Mr Wentworth (MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Social Services) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Under the provisions of the Social Services Act 1947-1971 a person is not entitled, while an inmate of a mental hospital, to receive age or invalid pension or sickness benefit. On discharge from a mental hospital a qualified person is entitled to receive up to 12 weeks pension or benefit related to his period of hospitalisation. Most mental institutions now provide separate open ward divisions for the treatment and training of patients participating in rehabilitation programmes designed to achieve their early discharge to ordinary living in the community. These rehabilitation divisions are not classified as a mental hospital for the purpose of the Social Services Act and qualified rehabiliatation patients are entitled to social service benefits.

(2)   No.

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