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Tuesday, 30 November 1971
Page: 3867

Mr KIRWAN (Forrest) (12:35 PM) The amount of $1.6m is to go to Western Australia this year for its war service land settlement scheme, and I want to suggest how that sum of money ought to be spent. First of all, I ask for leave to incorporate in Hansard a copy of a question that I asked and the answer received from the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Sinclair) earlier in the year in relation to this subject.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN Mr (Cope) - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows): (Question No. 2949)


Mr Kirwan asked the Minister for Primary Industry:

(1)   What amount is received each year by way of rents from the War Service Land Settlement farms in the south-west of Western Australia.

(2)   What has been the cost to the Commonwealth of the War Service Land Settlementscheme in this area.

(3)   Are the annual rentals of the War Service Land settlers able to be abolished or substantially reduced under prevailing conditions.

Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The following figures relate to the War Service Land Settlement scheme in Western Australia. I hope this information will be satisfactory to the honourable member. Any dissection against geographical areas, etc., would entail an excessive amount of work.



(3)   Of the 1,017 settlers who were allotted farms in Western Australia under war service land settlement, 431 have sold their leases, 24 have paid to convert their tenure from leasehold to freehold and 14 surrendered their holdings which were then sold on the open market. S48 are still on their farms under the scheme.

The honourable member will appreciate that the present problems of rural producers are industry-wide and not specific to war service land settlers. The reduction or abolition of rentals payable by these settlers would have to be considered in conjunction with measures designed to assist all farmers experiencing the same or similar problems.

Measures have already been introduced, on an industry-wide basis and the Government is making sizeable funds available to the State to assist and relieve the economic difficulties of primary producers especially in the seriously affected wool and dairy industries.

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