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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 4372

Mr THORBURN (COOK, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the attention of the Minister for Urban and Regional Development been drawn to an article in this morning's 'Sydney Morning Herald'? Does the Minister consider that a Yes vote at the prices referendum on Saturday will encourage a black market in land? Does the Minister agree with Mr R. Ryko, the Managing Director of Parkes Development Pty Ltd - a large land development company - that it is unlikely that the recommendation will get off the ground?

Mr UREN (REID, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Urban and Regional Development) -I have read the report. If a Yes vote is recorded at the referendum on Saturday and control over prices is given to this Parliament, it will mean that after legislation has been passed there will be authority to nominate any area with a view to stabilising land prices. There has been a precedent already. The Prime Minister met with the Premiers of Victoria and New South Wales. They were able to reach an agreement to stabilise land prices in an agreed area in Albury-Wodonga as at 3 October 1972. A formula has been worked out to take account of the increase in the price of land after the stabilisation date has been announced. The Managing Director of Parkes Development Pty Ltd talked about a future black market. Important matters have been brought before this Parliament during the last week. The first was the tabling of the report on the Commission of Inquiry into Land Tenures. One of the recommendations in that report was that when land is rezoned from rural to urban any capital gain that may be made should accrue to the Crown or to the community but not the person, the land speculator or the land developer who has the land. Secondly, legislation was passed by this House for the setting up of land commissions and new growth centres.

This year the Australian Government has made available almost $10Om for the purpose of improving the supply of serviced land, which is an important element in the price of land. We have made available $33m to create new growth centres, $30m for land commissions and $30m to overcome sewerage backlogs. It is my responsibility to nominate growth areas. If the people vote Yes on Saturday, I believe that it will be a great step forward in stabilising land prices. I stress the word 'stabilising'. It will not mean a freezing of land prices. I assure honourable members that I believe that the report presented by those 3 prominent men - Mr Justice Else-Mitchell of the New South Wales Supreme Court, Professor Russell Mathews of the Australian National University and that progressive and enlightened developer Mr Dusseldorp - is a social landmark in this country. As the Minister responsible, I will be proposing to Cabinet that it give support to their proposals.

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