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Tuesday, 26 September 1972
Page: 1183


Senator COTTON (New South WalesMinister for Civil Aviation) - by leave - Honourable senators will recall that in answer to questions in the House last year the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) indicated that existing Government policy in relation to the provision of housing in Canberra for Ministers would be revised. The Government has now completed that review. The Government believes that it is right that Ministers should continue to have access to accommodation in Canberra that accords with the responsibilities they have to carry out. Ministers have to spend a considerable time in Canberra whether Parliament is sitting or not and it is in the interests of the Government, of the administration, and of the country that they should be encouraged to live in Canberra and be assisted by having suitable accommodation available to them, lt is also reasonable in these circumstances that Ministers should be able to bring their families to Canberra and establish their homes here, at least temporarily, if they wish to do so.

The Government has concluded that furnished or unfurnished flat or house accommodation should be made available to Ministers who wish to live in Canberra. But there are 2 new elements. Houses will bc occupied by Ministers only while they remain in the Ministry and there will be no right of purchase. Ministers who occupy houses made available by the Government will be required to vacate within a reasonable time after they leave the Ministry, although if they wish they will be given priority in renting a Government flat. Finally, 1 would add that it may be appropriate that the whole matter of housing for Ministers should be placed on a statutory basis; the Government will be giving further attention to this aspect. I move:

That the Senate take note of the statement.

Question resolved in the affirmative.







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