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Monday, 25 March 1985
Page: 704

Senator COONEY —I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Housing and Construction: Is the waiting list for public housing rental accommodation increasing in Australia and, if so, at what rate? If it is, will the high priority which the Government intends to give to public housing reverse that trend and, if so, to what extent?

Senator RYAN —I do not have available to me information about the waiting periods for public housing throughout Australia but I have no doubt that they are unacceptably long, particularly for those people who are in the queue. This would be despite the fact that the Hawke Government has massively increased the funds available to public housing. For example, in this financial year the amount available for public housing will be $1,600m, which is a record even in real terms. In addition, the Government has liberalised the eligibility criteria to ensure that all Australians have a chance of getting a house. No doubt the waiting lists are too long. I will get specific information as to what they are on a State and Territory basis. I am sure that the Minister for Housing and Construction will be giving very high priority to securing even more funds so that the unacceptably long waiting lists can be shortened.