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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 141

Senator COTTON - Senator Poyserrecently asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Interior whether the Minister for the Interior would refer to the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory for investigation, the matter of increases in the price of land in Canberra and allegations that business enterprises were forcing up land prices. The Minister for the Interior has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

Canberra is a dynamic growth centre in which there is increasing interest in land despite a substantial rise in the number of leases offered each year.

Recent allegations about the administration of leasehold were out of all proportion to the facts. The rises in prices are primarily a consequence of greater liquidity, a strong local demand for housing and the general trend in levels of land prices in Australia.

The Government shares the honourable senator's concern about making land available at a reasonable price. In this regard the Australian Capital Territory Advisory Council has already been asked for comment on a proposal to broaden conditions for eligibility to bid at restricted auctions. The change proposed is designed to induce an overall levelling off in prices in Canberra. The Council intends to hold a public enquiry prior to providing a response.

There is no reason for any additional enquiry into this subject at this time.

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