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Tuesday, 13 December 1927

Senator McLACHLAN (South AustraliaHonorary Minister) .- The Agricultural Bank in Tasmania is acting as the agent for the War Service Homes Commission in that State in the same way as the State Savings Bank of Victoria has been functioning -in Victoria, but without financial responsibility. Under this agreement the responsibility for the repayment of the money the Commonwealth is to advance, and for that capitalized, will rest with the State Savings Bank of Victoria which it will have to repay at the end of twenty years whether it receives it or not.

Senator Ogden - What will be the position of a purchaser who has a grievance ?

Senator McLACHLAN - The WaiService Homes Act does not give home purchasers the right of appeal; but the administration provides certain facilities. This practice will continue, because the bank will not enter into this obligation with the intention of quarrelling with home purchasers. Its desire will be to satisfy the purchasers as has been the desire of the commission in the past. If a purchaser has any complaint to make he will approach the department which will make representations to the bank. Although we are altering the form of control the work will still be carried out by the bank, whose responsiblity is governed by the terms of the agreement.

Senator Verran - To whom can home purchasers appeal?

Senator McLACHLAN - No provision is made for appeals. If a home purchaser says that in his opinion the savings bank is acting improperly, the War Service Homes Commission will communicate with the bank. Disputes are generally in connexion with construction, and these are specially provided for. If any other dispute arose the commissioner would ascertain if the agreement had been departed from; but that is not likely as the savings bank has already been functioning in this connexion in a satisfactory manner.

Senator Duncan - But the commissioner extends leniency outside the agreement.

Senator McLACHLAN - Yes. The arrears to the bank, as I have said, amount to only £4,136, and this will still come in. The fact that there are arrears, however, shows that an iron hand has not been exercised.

Senator Duncan - That is what wa wish to be continued.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 4 to 7 agreed to.


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