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Wednesday, 12 September 1973
Page: 840

Mr BENNETT (SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Will the Minister for Housing inform the House what further progress has been made in proposals to develop the 18 acres of Belmont Shire land which was resumed for defence purposes but has since been declared redundant for defence and is now required by the Belmont Shire for aged persons housing? Can the Minister give a clear indication of what the overall development will be and the population density of aged and young people if in fact this is to take place at all? When will a final desision be given on whether the land will be returned to the Belmont Shire or developed by the Commonwealth? Would any advantage be gained by shire representatives coming to Canberra to interview the Ministers concerned in this matter?

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - This matter was previously raised by the honourable member and by Senator Cant and Senator Wilkinson from another place. Subsequent to discussions I had with the Minister for Services and Property I visited the site referred to in the Belmont area which had been acquired by the Commonwealth, I think in the war years. I met the Mayor and the Town Clerk and discussed the general proposition that the Commonwealth might join in a partnership with the local government authority and the State Government to develop this area in a desirable way in respect of the housing needs of students, pensioners, ex-servicemen, young married couples and others. Since that time I have caused an account of our discusions to be conveyed to my colleague the Minister for Urban and Regional Development for evaluation. At present I am awaiting his views on this subject. One thing is certain, the Council representatives who were in attendance at the discussions seemed to have quite a reasonable attitude to the proposition that I put and there seems no doubt that if we do go on to effect an arrangement to develop this site with the support of the Commonwealth we will achieve a type of development which would be exemplary and which would set the pace for similar CommonwealthState partnership development in the future.

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