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Thursday, 1 April 1965

Senator BISHOP (South Australia) . - I move -

At the end of sub-clause (5.) add, " and another shall be a person who has had experience as an architect and town planner".

The purpose of the amendment can be related to the proposal implicit in clause 7 (5.) to appoint to the Housing Loans Insurance Corporation a person with experience in banking carried on by an instrumentality of the Commonwealth. The intention of the Opposition is to nave appointed to the Corporation also a person who has had some experience both as a town planner and an architect. Honorable senators who have followed the debate in this chamber and have read the report of the debate in another place will have noticed that while the Bill is said to be designed to cover finance for home building and to attract more money and savings to that purpose, the Minister for Housing (Mr. Bury) stated that the Corporation would be a business undertaking charged with a strong social purpose.

It is evident that since the discussion has revolved around environment as well as finance and associated practices of home building, the issues are wider than actual home building and finance for homes. It will be noted that the Minister speaking in another place devoted some time to these matters in his second reading speech and during the debate on an amendment similar to that which I have moved in this chamber. The Opposition believes that strong social forces must be related not only tothe burdens of persons who have second mortgages now - and this is obviously a social problem and one which the Government aims to correct to some extent - but also to the social problem of lack of housing. Regard must be had to the fact that there is not sufficient housing and that as a result there are many social problems.

Having gone as far as that, one has to of town planning. For example, the scope of the Bill extends to the construction of roads and footpaths. This provision has never before been encompassed in consideration of a dwelling unit. In this context, finance in relation to environment and town planning becomes of new importance. I remind honorable senators that the Minister for Housing devoted some time to these matters as recorded at page 283 of " Hansard ". The Minister also pointed out that the problem of costs was now altered by speculation. If there were no proper planning in relation to home building and housing areas there would ba greater cost, and the question would arise whether speculators would open up new areas. All these matters are related to the purposes of the Bill. In fact clause 23 provides that the Corporation may require to be satisfied as to standards of construction.

Earlier in the debate, reference was made to the labour force in the community in relation to housing. On this basis, it seems reasonable to have a member of the Corproation with experience as an architect and town planner. Clause 7 provides that the Corporation shall consist of five members - a chairman, a deputy chairman and three other members.

The Minister, in his second reading speech, made the observation also that there had been some delay in introducing this legislation because long discussions had taken place with some international authorities. He mentioned the Canadian authorities. We know also that some discussions were held with housing authorities in the United States of America. There is in fact a wider application of this principle in the United States legislation which might be considered. Under the United States Federal Housing Administration, regard must be had, before loans on properties may be insured, not only to the standards of construction, as mentioned in this Bill, but also the locality and liveability of the home.

The issue of housing in the Australian community has been canvassed in the consideration of this Bill. Concern was expressed by the Minister for Housing in another place when introducing this Bill. An attempt has been made to assist housing in Australia and that has brought forth the legislation which is now before us. Because of this, we suggest that it is most appropriate to have as a member of the Housing

Loans Insurance Corporation a person who has architectural experience as his knowledge would be most valuable to the operations of the Corporation in the wider sense.

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