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Monday, 22 October 1973
Page: 2405

Mr MARTIN (BANKS, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for Housing. In view of the latest rise in the cost of home building materials of an average of 1.8 per cent in July in Australia's State capitals, will the Minister give urgent consideration to the substantial savings to be made in housing Australians by the use of large high quality mobile houses? Is it true that such houses are becoming increasingly acceptable all over the world for the many advantages they offer, apart from the main advantage of much lower cost than a conventional home? Does the Government intend to take any action in this field?

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is true that such houses are becoming popular in many parts of the world, especially the United States of America and Canada. For my part, I cannot see any reason why they cannot have a place in the sun here in Australia because it seems that many people consider such housing desirable.

Mobile homes can be of a very high standard and can be relatively inexpensive. As for their innovation in Australia, I understand the position is that at the moment no local government authority anywhere in Australia is competent to approve the location of a mobile home because there are no approved mobile home sites. I believe it is necessary for legislation in every State to be altered before such provisions can be made.

From the standpoint of the Australian Government, the Department of Housing already has drawn up in co-operation with the States a code for mobile home parks which is of a very high order. I hope that if the States introduce legislation to facilitate the innovation of these mobile homes our code might be of assistance to them. My colleague the Minister for Urban and Regional Development recently received a request for such a park in the Australian Capital Territory. I understand that at present he is considering the matter, particularly in view of the need for tradesmen in the Australian Capital Territory and the fact that they may prefer this type of accommodation. For my own part I hope that in the near future we will be able to see serious consideration given to the proposal that mobile homes be used in Australia. I personally would give them a green light if we could be certain that they would be of a high standard.

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