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Thursday, 10 May 1973
Page: 2027


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Jenkins (SCULLIN, VICTORIA) - Order! I remind the honourable member that the Bill under discussion is the Cities Commission Bill. He has had considerable latitude throughout the debate. I suggest that he might return to the Bill.


Mr COOKE - Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. The point that I wish to make is that questions such as the functions of the Cities Commission are very difficult to debate rationally in this House unless we are provided with information as to what the Department concerned is doing and what is the Minister's policy. We find this information, unfortunately, only by reading newspapers. For example, I stumbled only by chance on a copy of the Victorian 'Sun' of 12th April 1973 which stated that the Minister was proposing interest free loan schemes to curb council rate rises. The Minister made no statement in the House about that. I would have thought that that matter was a major point concerning the functioning of the Cities Commission proposed by the Bill which we are now discussing.

Again I draw the Minister's attention to the fact that it is not only on his side of the

House that concern is felt for urban problems; concern is felt also on this side. Unless the Minister is prepared to take us into his confidence a little more and tell us what he is doing we will not be able to help him with what I feel he would regard as valuable suggestions.







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