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Wednesday, 6 May 1942

Senator FRASER (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for External Territories) - On the 30th April Senator Cooper asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Army the following questions, upon notice: -

1.   Is it a fact that private homes are being commandeered for the use of fighting services in Australia and compensation paid on a basis of 4 per cent. on an assessed capital value plus payment of rates and insurance?

2.   If so, does the Minister consider this rate of payment a fair recompense to a man whose home has been commandeered when he has to pay a greater rent for temporary accommodation (if procurable) as well as the cost of transport and storage of his furniture?

3.   Is it a fact that the Fair Rents Courts allow as high as 12½ per cent. return on capital invested in assessing a fair rent?

The Minister for the Army has now furnished the following answers: -

1.   The compensation payable to owners of homes is covered by order issued under Regulation 60h National Security (General) Regulations, and published in Commonwealth

Gazette,No. 93 of 25th March, 1942. In addition to return on capital, together with rates, taxes and insurance, provision is made in the Order for depreciation and the replacement of any physical damage.

The rate of return -4 per cent. net on capital invested - is calculated as the equivalent of 1 per cent. above the rate payable on bonds by the Commonwealth. The average net return would not be greater than this amount.

2.   In mostcases the homes are offered for use by the owners, who are thereby relieved of maintenance costs and staff troubles. Where, in some cases, owners have been required to take alternative accommodation and the procuring of same has presented difficulties, such alternative accommodation has been taken by the Commonwealth for the owners' purposes in lieu of payment of cash compensation.

3.   The Landlord and Tenant Regulations are administered by the Minister for Trade and Customs to whom this question has been referred for reply.

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