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Thursday, 11 November 1976
Page: 2594

Mr HOLTEN (INDI, VICTORIA) -My question is directed to the Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development and relates to AlburyWodonga. Where and when can details of the new designated area for Albury-Wodonga be obtained by the public? Are these new boundaries final or will people be able to register objections? Will those objections be considered? Has the Minister seen reports that people who wish to sell their properties will still be under a cloud? Has the Minister any comment on this report? Finally, what reaction has the Minister had from residents of Albury-Wodonga and from the States to the Commonwealth's proposals?

Mr NEWMAN (BASS, TASMANIA) (Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development) - I thank the honourable member for his question. Last Monday night the Ministerial Council for Albury-Wodonga met, and I am glad to say that the Council, on which Victoria and New South Wales are represented, endorsed the Commonwealth's proposition that Albury-Wodonga should become a national pilot project. The Council went further and endorsed a program of funding for this financial year. It also examined the question of land acquisition. I am also glad to say that in considering this question the States were mindful of the argument put by the Commonwealth that this was a time for fiscal restraint. All parties, including New South Wales and Victoria, agreed that the area of land to be acquired in that region should be reduced from approximately 48 000 hectares' to 17 000 hectares. This will mean a saving of about $45m to $50m. Turning to the first of the specific points raised in the question, the AlburyWodonga Development Corporation will publish a map on, I believe, Monday, 22 November, which will show in detail those areas of AlburyWodonga which are now to be acquired.

With regard to the second part of the question concerning appeal or debate, the Ministers concerned considered this question very carefully and took into account all aspects of the decision to reduce the area of land to be acquired. The decision is final. As to the last part of the question, I have had no reaction from anybody in the area. I finish as I began by saying that all Ministers from the States of Victoria and New South Wales endorsed unqualifiedly the proposals which I have talked about today.

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