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Thursday, 24 March 1927

Senator J B HAYES (TASMANIA) - Speaking last night on the Wire and Wire Netting bill, I compared it with the Wire Netting Act of 1923, and pointed out that the provisions of the latter were far more liberal.

Judging by his interjections, the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) held the opposite opinion. At the time, I was not in a position to quote the regulations that had been made under the act; but I have since obtained them, and there are two to which I should like to draw the attention of the Government. Regulation 16 reads -

No interest shall be charged by the Commonwealth or State Government in respect of moneys due, or becoming due, by a settler as payment for wire netting supplied to him under this part.

Regulation 26 (2) provides -

The cost of the wire netting supplied under this part to a settler, including all freight and handling charges to the port or station referred to in the last preceding subregulation, shall bo repayable by the settler to the Minister, free of interest, by not more than twenty equal yearly instalments extending over a period not exceeding twenty years from the 1st clay of July in the year in which the advance is made.

I said last night that either the advance was free of interest, or that there was an interest payment of 5 per cent., and no return of the capital. There is no difference between the two, because the interest payment at a rate of 5 per cent. per annum over a period of twenty years, would equal the capital amount. My reason for raising the matter now is to show that I was correct in what I said, and, what is more important, to suggest that when new regulations are being framed, the Government shall have in mind those that were made under the old act. The intention of the Minister appears to be to make the new regulations more liberal than those under the old act, and I hope this will be done so that they will confer a greater benefit upon settlers.

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