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Thursday, 26 November 1936

Senator HARDY (New South Wales) . - Under division 42, the sum of £50,100 is set down for the rent of buildings. Recently, I asked a question relating to the total amount of rent paid by the Commonwealth for the occupancy of buildings. I specifically excluded aerodromes and sites for aerodromes. In reply, I was informed that a total of £83,417 was paid by the Commonwealth Government to landlords for the right to occupy buildings in the several States. I also asked how much of the total rentals represented money paid to State governments, and was informed that the States were paid £10,446. It is clear, therefore, that the Commonwealth pays to private landlords in the States about £70,000 a year as rent. That sum is sufficient to warrant the Commonwealth considering the wisdom of erecting its own buildings in the States.

Senator Herbert Hays - That mightmean duplication.

Senator HARDY - On the basis of a return of 3£ per cent., the money paid as rent would enable buildings to the value of about £250,000 to be erected, without the Commonwealth being out of pocket. If it is necessary for the Commonwealth to have officers permanently employed in the States, it should house them in its own buildings.

Senator Herbert Hays - To the detriment of the States ?

Senator HARDY - I cannot see how the States would be detrimentally affected.

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