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Wednesday, 23 November 1927

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) . - I should like to know if it is proposed to create the Federal Capital Commission an authority for the purposes of this bill, whether any municipal authority in any part of Australia is clothed with power to undertake the building of houses, and, if so, what work is being done by any municipal authority in this direction? I should also like to know whether there has been any consultation between the Commonwealth and established State authorities? The Minister in charge of the bill has said that such consultation has taken place, but I read the debate that took place on this bill in another place, and if my memory serves me well, in only two cases were there any such consultations, and those were only of an informal nature. In Victoria the State Savings Bank is doing magnificent work in the building of houses, and I should like to know from the Minister what opinion was expressed by that authority, if it was consulted, about the main provision of this bill to afford to persons in receipt of salaries up to £12 a week an opportunity to secure financial accommodation to the extent of 90 per cent, of the value of a house. I am anxious to get that information because I should like to know if the State housing authority in Victoria has agreed to perform the work which will be required after the passage of this bill. It would mean that the State Savings Bank would be administering two schemes, the Commonwealth's one and its own, which is better and more liberal than that which is now proposed.

SenatorReid.-In what way is it more liberal?

Senator FINDLEY - Because of the deposit required. I cannot go over the ground again, but on the second rending I proved conclusively that the Victorian scheme is more liberal than the one we have now before us.

Senator Sir William Glasgow - The present Victorian scheme is not more liberal than the one the Commonwealth has proposed.

Senator FINDLEY - The Victorian scheme is much more liberal than the Commonwealth up to the £1,350 advance.

Senator Payne - Is the honorable senator in order in discussing the general provisions of the bill when we should be dealing with definitions?

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Plain).The honorable senator is asking the Minister for certain information, which I presume the Minister will give him.

Senator FINDLEY - I thought every honorable senator, with perhaps the exception of Senator Payne, would be anxious to get the fullest information in regard to this clause. The Commonwealth scheme is not more liberal than the Victorian scheme up to an advance of £1,350. The difference between the two schemes lies in the greater advance that is possible under the Commonwealth scheme. But' if the State Savings Bank of Victoria is to be created an authority under this Bill it will be administering two housing schemes, and I want to know whether, after being consulted, it has announced its willingness to work the Commonwealth scheme in conjunction with its own.

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