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Tuesday, 11 November 1975
Page: 2937

Mr Snedden asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(   1 ) Has his attention been drawn to the recent decision announced by the Minister for Housing and Construction that Commonwealth Hostels Limited will pay ex-gratia payments to local government bodies with migrant and other Australian Government hostels in their area, in lieu of rates.

(2)   Is it intended that this principle should be extended to apply to the operations of all Government departments.

Mr Hayden - The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes. The Minister for Housing and Construction advised me that rates would be paid from 1 July 1 975.

(2)   There is no proposal to make ex-gratia payments in lieu of general rates in connection with the operations of Government departments. The general policy is that the Australian Government, in accordance with its constitutional rights in relation to property used for Australian Government purposes, does not pay rates on such property. However, it is the practice to make ex-gratia payments in respect of particular services rendered by a rating authority such as water, sewerage, electricity, sanitary or garbage services.

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