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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4389

Mr UREN (REID, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I direct my questionto the Prime Minister. He may recall my question to him on 13th September in which I sought a reduction in interest rates in the home building sector of the building industry in order to stimulate that section of the industry. In reply the Prime Minister indicated that he would keep a close watch on this section of the industry. Is he aware that there had been a 6.6 per cent decrease in the number of commencements of the houses and flats in the September quarter compared with the corresponding quarter in1 969 - 2 years ago - and that since that time 350,000 migrants have come to Australia and there have been over 220,000 marriages in Australia? Will the Prime Minister direct the Reserve Bank of Australia to reduce the interest rates applying in the home building sector in order to stimulate that sector of the industry and to assist young people and migrants to acquire homes?

Mr McMAHON - I am not certain of the figures that have just been given by the honourable gentleman, but on this question I can say that if he looks at the figures relating to residentials, which include homes and flats, and makes' a comparison with the same periods last year he will see that there has been a substantial increase in the number of commencements. As I have already assured him, I keep a very close personal watch on the total position in the housing industry. I believe that the industry is going along fairly well -

Mr Uren -

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I have already warned the honourable members - for Reid. He has asked a rather long question about which I think the Chair was lenient!, and now he is interjecting. I suggest that he should conform with the forms of the House.

Mr McMAHON - By the way, the honourable member for Reid referred to the corresponding quarter 2 years ago.

Mr Uren - Yes, but there is decline.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I again warn the honourable ' member for Reid. If he persists in ignoring my request I shall name him on the next occasion.

Mr McMAHON - If the honourable gentleman wants to obtain the figures relating to this industry and to see the way in which we are keeping a cautious watch on them, he should look at the speeches made in this House when a no confidence motion was moved and decisively beaten.

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