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Tuesday, 30 November 1976
Page: 2969

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock (LYNE, NEW SOUTH WALES) -Does the Minister claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr NEWMAN -Yes, in reports in several newspapers this morning which have just come to my notice on a matter of housing and devaluation outlined in a Press statement which I issued. The most misleading statement was contained in the Brisbane Courier-Mail which claimed that the Government was planning a credit squeeze and a cut back in housing. It is absurd to suggest this. The interpretation made of the Press statement in the newspapers is quite without foundation. The Government is seeking to ensure that the housing industry operates at its maximum level of efficiency. The succinct parts of the Press statement were that major sections of the construction industry would benefit from the devaluation and that any effects on the cost and availability of housing finance would be only marginal. I also contrasted the dwelling commencement figures achieved in the September quarter, which were extraordinarily high by any standard, with those recommended by an independent advisory body, the Indicative Planning Council.

Mr Hurford - I rise to a point of order. This is not a personal explanation. It is an explanation relating to Government policy. The newspapers have quite rightly taken the Treasurer's statement to mean that interest rates will increase.

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