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Wednesday, 9 September 1942

Mr ROSEVEAR - Will the Minister for the Army state whether it is a fact that a number of incompetent valuers are hiding behind the powers vested by the National Security Regulations in the Hirings Administration? If decisions by those valuers are causing grave dissatisfaction among dispossessed people, is the Minister prepared to set up a civilian committee of assessors to determine what compensation should be paid for the properties taken over?

Mr FORDE - I am not aware that there are a number of incompetent valuers in the Hirings Administration. I know that the Hirings Administration has, since the advent of Japan into the war, had a tremendous task as the result of thousands of properties being taken over all over Australia, and has, under difficult conditions, done a very good job. Large numbers of properties were taken over for the other fighting services, and for the American Forces, from Melbourne to North Queensland. In order to expedite the completion of claims, I have now approved of a scheme with which, as I told the honorable member for Herbert, I shall acquaint the House to-morrow. It provides for the appointment of compensation boards in each State to enable persons who cannot agree with the Hirings Administration as to what is a fair rental or compensation to apply to a compensation board. A central committee will also be appointed, which I believe will result in a more expeditious settlement of claims on an equitable basis.

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