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Wednesday, 23 March 1966

Mr BURY (Wentworth) (Minister for Labour and National Service) . - I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Honorable members will recall that on 16th March last the Treasurer (Mr. McMahon) announced that the Government had advised State Governments that it was piepared to support an increase of $15 million in the Loan Council borrowing programmes for this financial year on condition that the share of each State in the additional amount was used wholly for housing purposes. The States have accepted this offer. The purpose of this Bill is to authorise the raising of further loan moneys totalling $15 million, which will be advanced, under the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement, to the States this financial year for expenditure on housing. These advances are repayable over 53 years and bear interest at 1 per cent, per annum below the long term bond rate.

The amount of $15 million is, of course, additional to the $102 million already allocated for housing under that Agreement in 1965-66. The distribution of this additional amount among the States is - New South Wales, $4,771,000; Victoria, $3,826,000; Queensland, $1,897,000; South Australia, $2,057,000; Western Australia, Si, 401, 000; Tasmania, $1,048,000- a total of $15 million.

As the Treasurer mentioned in his recent statement, the provision of these additional funds in the next few months will serve to stimulate home building activity. In addition to the benefit accruing to those seeking accommodation through State housing authorities, the additional allocation will be of assistance to private home builders. Under the Housing Agreement, not less than 30 per cent. - $4.5 million - will be allocated to home builders accounts from which advances are made by the States to building societies and other approved institutions. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Whitiam) adjourned.

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