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Extracts from address to a state election campaign meeting at Bendigo



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Office of the Leader of the Opposition ■/ i

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Extracts from an address by Bill Hayden, MP, Leader of the Opposition, to a State election campaign meeting at Bendigo, Victoria, on Wednesday, 18 April 1979.

EMBARGO 6 p.m.

The Hamer Government has the worst record of any government in Australia in containing housing costs.

Building society interest rates on housing mortgages in Victoria are the highest in Australia.

If the rates here were the same as in New South Wales, the average Victorian home buyer would be paying $21 a month less in repayments. '

Not only do Victorians pay higher interest rates; they have to pay more to buy a home.

The average purchase price of a 110 sq metre house and land in Melbourne is higher than in any other capital.

The cost of a comparable house and land in Sydney, in terms of years of average weekly earnings necessary to pay for them, has been falling consistently since the early 1970s. .

Land prices soared in Melbourne between 1970-71 and 1976-77. The average price for a block of land jumped 246 per cent, as against an increase in Sydney of 87 per cent.

In short, land price increases in Sydney have been contained to about one-third of the increase in Melbourne. ■

The irrefutable fact is that the Hamer Government has an apalling record of failure in the field of housing.

Victorians have been forced to endure the worst and most expensive housing policies at the same time that great private wealth was being generated for a handful of people through dubious land development deals involving the Government.

' Mr Hamer and his. colleagues have allowed Victorian home buyers to be the victims of massive incompetence.

They have also been guilty of indifference to the rip-off of home buyers by ...their Federal allies, the Fraser Government.

Mr Fraser ended Labor's subsidy scheme for housing mortgage interest repayments. Mr Hamer acquiesed in that action.

Yet that decision increased repayments on the average housing mortgage by $22.40 a month.

Parliament H ouse, Canberra, A.C.T. 2 6 0 0 . . .2/

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It was a decision that hurt every home buyer in the country.

Now, it looks as though they are going to be socked again.

If Mr Fraser refuses to do anything to insulate home buyers from higher interest rates generated by his economic bumbling, then the average home buyer in Victoria and other States could be paying another $20 a month to pay off their building society

loans.

In Melbourne, the average home buyer with a building society loan already pays $21 a month more than a comparable .borrower in New South Wales, and an extra $22 a month has been added by the termination of the housing mortgage interest subsidy scheme,

If the impending.!.increase in interest rates flows through to home loans it could cost as much as another $20 a month.

That's a grand totalLof an extra $63 a month or $756 a year.

These figures prove how little concern Mr Hamer and Mr Fraser have for home buyers in Victoria.

One is too busy acting as legal adviser to wealthy graziers who seem to think they are entitled to subsidised Government assistance earmarked for needy farmers. . ■

The, other is too preoccupied in justifying welfare programs for the wealthy and privileged at the expense of the ordinary Australian family. .

CANBERRA/BENDIGO 18 April 1979.