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Thursday, 11 July 1946

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON (Barker) . - I do not think that these matters should be left to the commission to decide as acts of grace; they should be matters of right. During the war many properties were taken over by Commonwealth and State governments and semi-governmental bodies, and many utilities were practically worn out by government departments, yet the bodies and persons concerned have no lawful claim against the Crown in respect of the damage.

Mr Calwell - That has nothing to do with the clause under consideration.

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - That is so. I agree that there is no inherent right to collect rates from Commonwealth instrumentalities, although it is well known that in some towns the best sites are held by the Commonwealth. Local governing bodies have to provide roads, footpaths, &c., to serve these properties, without receiving in return any contribution by the Commonwealth. The present state of affairs will be accentuated if effect bo given to the nationalization policy of the Government. The time has come when the Parliament should take a stand in these matters. I do not say that that should be done to-night, but Commonwealth instrumentalities should be placed on the same footing as other propertyowners who pay rates.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 37 to 42 agreed to.

Clause 43-

The value of any property acquired under this Fart shall be assessed according' to the value of the property on the first day of January last preceding the date of acquisition.

Amendment (by Mr. Calwell) proposed -

That, at the end of the clause, the following words be added: - "or where an agreement is entered into under Part IV. of this Act as to the compensation payable in respect of the property acquired, on such date as is fixed in the agreement.".

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