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Housing summit too narrow

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ALEXANDER DOWNER S h a d o w M in ister fo r Housing, S m all Business Et C u sto m s * pOPSIMC SUMMIT TOO HARROW


Unless both the agenda and the guest list for the 3 March Housing Summit are substantially changed, the meeting will be about aa constructive as a meeting of the General Assembly of the united Nationsi strong on rhetoric and self-justification but short on

substance and action, the Federal Opposition said today,


Shadow Minister for Housing, Alexander Downer, said in Adelaide t o d a y that the " s u m m i t " w o u l d only bo worthwhile if four

preconditions were m e t .

.First, representatives of local government should attend becausei

- the final decisions on whether land can be s u b d i v i d e d for additional housing blocks rests with local councils or shires;

- the issue of the disbursement of grants

from the Common w.ea 11 h to local government fcliOuld be r e - a s s e s s e d by S t a t e G r a n t s

C o m m i s s i o n s so t n a c a l l o c a t i o n · m o r e

realistically reflect the needs of developing local government areas.

.s e c o n d l y , the agenda for the meeting needs to be

e x p a n d e d to i n c l u d e a review of the relationship

between Federal and State government housing policies. Aspects which must be discussed include;

- the need to accelerate the sale of public

h o u s i n g to t e n a n t s (which is at present

inhibited by the Commonwea1th/State Housing Agreement)?

- the effectiveness of spending taxpayer's money on building rental accommodation for low income families rather than helping them purchase their own homes.

- the p o s s i b i l i t y of c o - o r d i n a t i n g more

e f f e c t i v e l y c o m m o n w e a l t h and State home

purchase assistance programs.

. Thirdly, the meeting should establish a working party to examine the effect of the capital gains tax on the

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property m a r k e t .

.Fourthly/ a work i n g par t y should be established to

assess the effe c t s of tight m o n e t a r y p o l i c y on the

capacity of individuals to service home loan repaymenta and this working party should include representatives of the housing industry.

Mr Downer said that if the Government were not prepared to do

these things and to show some flexibility towards the "summit" then e v e r y o n e could reasonably conclude the summit was little

more than a p o l i t i c a l stunt designed to deflect blame for the

h o u s i n g crisis way from the Federal G o v e r n m e n t t o w a r d s the


February 9, 1989

Contacti Alexander Downer (Office) 08 391 0888 (A .H . ) 08 339 51S 2