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Wednesday, 3 October 1984
Page: 1471


Mr HURFORD (Minister for Housing and Construction)(12.42) —I have one minute in which to sum up. I take this opportunity to thank all honourable members who took part in the debate. I am glad that the Opposition knows a good thing when it sees it and is not opposing the States (Works and Housing) Assistance Bill and the Housing Assistance Bill. There are a few matters to clear up from the contribution of the honourable member for Farrer (Mr Fife). For instance, he thought that singles were excluded from the first home owners assistance scheme. They are not excluded from the scheme. Justifiably, their income limit has been made half that which applies to doubles. No further changes are in mind. I want the honourable member for Farrer and the honourable member for Denison (Mr Hodgman) to know that 80,000 people will be helped in this financial year and that $265m will be put aside for the first home owners scheme. We want all who want home ownership to obtain it and our programs are designed to make sure that those who could not otherwise afford it will be able to do so. We also recognise that all cannot aspire to home ownership. Therefore we need rental stock. We are getting on with the job and the speeches of the honourable member for Diamond Valley (Mr Staples) and the honourable member for Phillip (Ms McHugh) show how we are doing that.

We are seeking to recoup subsidies under the home purchase assistance scheme. The States are formulating their own guidelines for achieving this. We do not want an erosion of those rolling funds; we want more people to be helped in future years. The money received by people who are eligible for the first home owners scheme, of course, is not recouped. In summary, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. More houses are being built; more people are going into home ownership. Even Tasmanians have reason to feel pleased. In 1981-82, under the honourable member for Denison and his group, under the Fraser Government which he supported, only $31.90 per head was spent on housing. In 1982-83, $43.80 per head was spent. However, in 1983-84, under the Hawke Labor Government, $60.90 per head was spent and in 1984-85 $63.70 per head will be spent. I have much pleasure in supporting this legislation and hope that the House will support it too.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.