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Tuesday, 3 December 1974
Page: 3080


Senator Withers asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing and Construction, upon notice.

(   1 ) What are the current Ministerial directions under the Defence Service Homes Act.

(2)   What are the dates and text of Ministerial directions issued under the Act.

(   3 ) When were the directions last reviewed.


Senator Cavanagh - The Minister for Housing and Construction has supplied the following answer to the honourable senator's question: (1), (2) and (3) Current Ministerial directions under the Defence Service Homes Act 1918-73 are as follows:

(   1 ) Subject to section 20 (4) of the Defence Service Homes Act, that assistance shall not be granted under the Act to discharge an existing mortgage, charge or encumbrance already existing on the applicant's holding, except where the mortgage, charge or encumbrance was arranged with the prior approval of the Director of Defence Service Homes, or in special cases of serious financial hardship. This direction was first given on 29 November 1951. The direction was reviewed on 13 February 1973 when it was liberalised to enable consideration to be given to applications for assistance to discharge an existing mortgage, charge or encumbrance where the terms of the mortgage are considered to be onerous and having regard to the applicant's income, payment of the commitments under the mortgage, charge or encumbrance is causing serious hardship.

(2)   That assistance under the Act is not to be granted to a person who served during the 1939-45 War in the Citizen Military Force or in the Women's Services with similar conditions of enlistment, unless that person served on land outside Australia or was employed on sea-going service outside Australia. This direction was given on 17 December 1948 and was reviewed in May 1973.

(3)   That assistance under the Act is not to be granted to a person who served in the Naval, Military or Air Forces of any part of the Queen's Dominions other than Australia during the 1939-45 War and who, before his enlistment or appointment for service, resided in Australia or a Territory of Australia, unless he served in an operational area outside the country of enlistment or appointment or, while not serving outside the country of enlistment or appointment, served as a combatant in an active combat unit. This policy was adopted on 22 March 1956 and was confirmed by Ministerial direction on 1 1 October 1972.

(4)   That assistance under the Act is not to be granted to a person dismissed from the Forces in circumstances where he was disqualified from payment of war gratuity under the War Gratuity Act or he would have been disqualified from payment of war gratuity had that Act applied to the period of service during which the misconduct was committed; provided that consideration may be given to the grant of assistance to an applicant dismissed from the Forces for desertion or absence without leave after his return to Australia, where, before the offence, the applicant gave reasonably good war service overseas. The current direction is based on a direction given on 1 7 October 1 946 and is at present under review.

(5)   That assistance is not to be granted under the Act where the applicant is currently receiving assistance under a land settlement scheme. The current direction is based on a direction given in 1921 and was last reviewed on 10 September 1974.

(6)   That the provision of additional assistance under the Act to an existing purchaser or borrower is to be restricted, as a general rule, to the provision of essential extra sleeping accommodation and to the installation of utility services such as sewerage, drainage, water or hot water systems. The original direction was given on 22 August 1962. The direction was reviewed on 1 3 February 1 973 when it was liberalised to enable consideration to be given to the provision of an additional loan for an extra bedroom where, because of a big disparity in ages of children or for medical reasons, it is undesirable for two children of the same sex to occupy the same bedroom.

(7)   That where following the default of a puchaser or borrower, the Director becomes mortgagee-in-possession or cancels a contract of sale, the following rates, taxes, charges or other outgoings in respect of the land that are payable by the person who was, when the outgoings became payable, the purchaser or borrower, shall be paid by the Director under the provisions of section 48ab of the Act.

(a)   In cases where the security is a mortgage-

(i)   Amounts owing to Australia, a State or a government authority for roadmaking, guttering, or sewerage, including interest arrears.

(ii)   Arrears of rates owing to Australia, a State or a government authority, including excess water charges which are a charge on the land.

(iii)   Rates charged while the Director is mortgageeinpossession.

(iv)   Interest on arrears of rates and legal expenses associated with recovery of the arrears where the expenses constitute a charge on the land:

(A)   where following a cash sale or an advance is made by way of mortgage there is sufficient balance available for the purpose, after deducting moneys owed to the Director and the expenses of the sale;

(b)   where following a sale on terms the margin of security is sufficient having regard to the possible future reversion of the property.

(b)   Incases where the security is a contract of sale:

(i)   Amounts owing to Australia, a State or a government authority for roadmaking, guttering or sewerage including interest arrears.

(ii)   One year's arrears of rates dating back from the cancellation of the contract of sale.

(iii)   In respect of property sold on or after 25 November 1 968, the balance of arrears of rates, legal expenses associated with recovery of the arrears and excess water charges which would be a charge on the land under local law if the land was chargeable for rates but not penalty interest:

(A)   where following a cash sale there is sufficient balance available for the purpose, after deducting from the sale price the outstanding liability on the property, including the expenses of the sale;

(b)   in a sale on terms, to the extent of the balance remaining after deducting from the sale price the liability on the property, including the expenses of the sale, provided the margin of equity of the new purchaser is sufficient having regard to the possibility of future reversion of the property. The original direction was given on 6 December 1968 and was last reviewed on 10 June 1969.

(8)   Subject to the estimated future life of the property, that the term for repayment of a loan granted under the Act is to be restricted to 32 years; provided that a term for repayment up to the maximum term permitted under the Act may be granted in the following cases:

(a)   In the case of a widow, pensioner, superannuant and other such person on a low income where the Director of Defence Service Homes or his delegate is satisfied that the applicant would experience hardship if he were required to pay in full the amount of the instalments based on a repayment term of 32 years;

(b)   In the case of an applicant with a large family on a low or moderate income where the Director or his delegate is satisfied that it would cause hardship to the applicant if he were required to pay in full the amount of the instalments based on a repayment term of 32 years; and

(c)   In any other case where the Director or his delegate is satisfied that, because of the particular circumstances of the applicant, the limitation of the term for repayment to 32 years would cause financial hardship.

This direction was given on 26 November 1 974.







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