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Thursday, 11 October 1956

Mr Whitlam m asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice -

1.   What amount did each State notify the Commonwealth that it would require in the present financial year under the 1956 Housing Agreement?

2.   Did the Commonwealth agree to these amounts?

3.   If not, what amounts did the Commonwealth decide to allocate to each State?

4.   What portion of the advance to each State has the Minister specified should be set aside to erect dwellings for allotment to serving members of the forces?

Mr Fairhall - The Minister for National Development has furnished the following replies: - 1, 2 and 3. At a meeting in June, 1956, the Australian Loan Council approved a governmental borrowing programme for 1956-57 of £210,000,000 of which £35,532,000 was nominated by the States for advances under clause 5 of the Housing Agreement. The amounts nominated by each State were -


The Commonwealth did not support the resolution providing for a governmental borrowing programme of £210,000,000. The Commonwealth indicated that it would be prepared to vote for a programme of £190,000,000 and, subject to certain conditions, that it would be prepared to make monthly advances to the States at an annual rate of £190,000,000 for the first six months of 1956-57, after which time the position would be reviewed and the amount of the financial assistance to be provided by the Commonwealth from its own resources towards the financing of the 1956-57 programme would be determined. Of this amount of £190,000,000 the Commonwealth, with the concurrence of the States, is making advances at the following annual rates for purposes of the Housing Agreement: -


4.   Negotiations between the Commonwealth and the States concerning the allotment of houses to serving members of the forces during 1956-57 have not been finalized, but they are proceeding on the basis that the following amounts will be set aside by the States for the allocation of houses for serving personnel: -


The agreement provides that as far as possible 50 per cent, of the dwellings erected from time to time by a State shall be allotted to members of the forces (the definition of which includes both serving personnel and ex-servicemen), to their dependants or to widows of deceased members of the forces.

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