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Wednesday, 27 October 1971
Page: 2658

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Housing, upon notice:

(1)   Where and when have there been meetings of the Housing Ministers since he postponed the meeting arranged for March 1971.

(2)   What has been the outcome of each meeting.

(3)   Will he answer this question before he introduces legislation consequent on the expiry of the Housing Agreement on 30th June 1971.

Mr Kevin Cairns (LILLEY, QUEENSLAND) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The meeting arranged for March . 1971 was a regular annual meeting of State Housing Ministers to which my predecessor had been invited by them and at which CommonwealthState Housing arrangements were to have been discussed. When, because of changesin the Ministry, it proved impracticable to present Commonwealth proposals at that time the State Ministers decided to postpone the meeting.

There have been two meetings of Commonwealth and State Housing Ministers since March at Canberra on 27th August 1971 and at Sydney on 17th September 1971.

(2)   and (3) The first meeting was adjourned to enable further consideration to be given to the Commonwealth's proposals, and the final outcome was announced in a joint press statement after the September meeting in the following terms.

The State Housing Ministers today announced they had agreed to accept Commonwealth proposals for housing grants in respect to their activities over the next 5 years, subject to a number of variations in details agreed between them. It was also agreed that, in future, housing for servicemen should be dealt with under a separate agreement by which construction would continue to be carried out by the States, with the Commonwealth to meet the full costs. The main principles of the proposals were agreed to, and detailed documents are to be submitted to the States in due course'.

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