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Thursday, 10 May 1973
Page: 1952

Mr DAVIES (BRADDON, TASMANIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry and relates to valuations of and rentals on war service land settlement properties. When may we expect legislation in this House to implement Labor policy on war service land settlement with respect to valuations fixed to correspond with State valuations, 'ess an amount for improvements and structures, with rentals based at 2i per cent of this figure? I might add that this is also the policy of the State Labor Government in Tasmania. If this legislation cannot be introduced this session, will the Minister make every endeavour to have it brought in during the Budget session so as to remove the injustices perpetrated for so many years by the previous Government on soldier settlers in the various settlements?

Dr PATTERSON (DAWSON, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Northern Development) - I am aware of the serious injustices of the existing provisions of the War Service Land Settlement Agreements Act. The Parliament also is aware of the many speeches made by the honourable member for Braddon exposing these injustices. Members on the Government side, including the honourable member for Braddon, have repeatedly moved and supported amendments in this House for a select committee inquiry into the various aspects of the determination of rentals, valuations and the option price of properties. In every case such an inquiry was refused by the previous Government. A select committee of the Tasmanian Legislative Council inquired fully into this matter. Its recommendations were firm that in Tasmania soldier settlement valuations should be related to State valuations. This was accepted by the Tasmanian Labor Government. It has been accepted also by the Labor Party in this House, as was shown by our various amendments over the years. I can understand the honourable member's concern in this matter because he, above anybody here, has made the greatest number ofpleas to do something positive. I can understand him also being very edgy now as to what the new Government will do because as he would know, I suppose - he is quite right in his implied criticism - up to the present time we have not done anything. I would suggest that as the Minister for Primary Industry is a Tasmanian the honourable member might give him a bit of a nudge, and 1 in my capacity will put his case again to the Minister for urgent action.

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