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Tuesday, 30 November 1971
Page: 3828

Mr Kevin Cairns (LILLEY, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Housing) - The Government does not accept the amendment proposed by the honourable member for Reid (Mr Uren). which will not surprise him in the slightest. Let me state very briefly that the Government does not accept it for a number of important reasons. It is very important to determine the definition of the word 'incapacitated' in the matter of widows relief. The Opposition has not proposed a definition of the word. If this new concept requiring a judgment of the incapacity or otherwise of a person, or the spouse of a person, who will obtain a loan were imported, then the general criteria for judgment which are already used before an advance is made would be put aside. For example, in section 28 the general criteria are nominated, but they are judged extremely leniently and extremely lightly. Section 28 of the Act states:

The Director may, at his discretion, refuse to enter into a contract for the sales of any land or land and dwelling-house . . . unless he is satisfied that the person has a reasonable prospect of carrying out the terms of the contract of sale . . .

A commercial judgment is not made by the Director. He does not make the kind of judgment made by finance officers of hire purchase companies. If the matter of incapacity is to be imported into the determination in section 29aa new principles will be imported into the judgment regarding those to whom relief may be given.

For other reasons the Government does not accept the amendment. If the amendment were accepted what is generally known as widows' relief would then not apply to widows but to people who are otherwise eligible. We are going to have a contradiction here between judgments as regards eligible people and we will have the importation of a judgment as to capacity. I suggest that clause 5A.(e) proposed by the honourable member for Reid may be covered to a certain extent in a number of cases by section 45 of the Act, under which payments for eligible persons may be extended for some time, but the conditions under which this occurs cannot require a lot of individual judgments to be made. Once you get away from the matter of judgments to be made in the cases which require consideration you are going to destroy almost the very philosophy of the Act. For those reasons the Government does not accept the amendment proposed by the Opposition.

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