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Thursday, 27 June 1946

Tamworth, Tuesday. - Military huts ut » former army camp on the Manilla Road, Tamworth, now being used by returned soldiers and their families were described by a Federal Treasury official to-day as " little better than a blacks' camp."

He said it was a disgrace that white people should be living under conditions where animals and people were- herded together.

The huts were recently advertised .by the

Commonwealth Disposals Commission's agents as attractive flats.

A " Herald " representative learnt to-day that many returned soldiers had bought the huts and land at the ex-military camp at inflated prices.

One returned soldier, Mr. R. Coleman, of Tamworth, paid £000 for two acres two roods of land and two huts worth £130 each.

They secured land for about £170 an acre while the Valuer-General's valuation was less than £4 an acre unimproved for the worst land and £10 an acre for the best land.

Buildings were assessed as fit for demolition purposes only.

Reports to the Tamworth local government authorities reveal the lots should have been purchased for not more than £25 to £30 ouch.


A local government spokesman said to-day the Disposals Commission had sent agents to Tamworth to sell the camp land at the highest possible prices. The Government used its privilege of waiving pegged price of land law on the grounds that it did not apply to the Crown, and were sold almost worthless grazing land up to £170 an acre without fear of black market prosecutions.

Many ex-servicemen, ho said, had been deprived of their deferred pay by the Disposal Commission's agents who used confidence trick methods and a cunningly-written catalogue to convince people.

I know the buildings and their condition. Et is a disgrace that the Government should charge ex-servicemen the high prices mentioned for such huts and .the land on which they are built. The prices are far above the rates which other vendors of land and buildings are permitted to charge. I hope that the Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Disposals Commission will take action to inquire into this matter with a view to ascertaining whether the report is correct. I hope also that he will instruct the commission that in future it is to consider itself bound by the same regulations as apply to private citizens in respect of the sale of land, so that ex-servicemen shall not be robbed of their deferred pay.

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