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Wednesday, 12 February 1986
Page: 170

Senator ARCHER —I would like to ask a question of the Minister for Education, who represents the Minister for Housing and Construction. I refer the Minister to last week's release of figures showing a dramatic fall in both the number and value of building approvals throughout Australia. Is the Minister aware that these figures revealed a 19 per cent fall in the value of total building approvals between November and December and a drop of almost 30 per cent in private sector approvals? Can the Minister give any indication as to when this Government's high interest rate policy will be eased in favour of a more sensible and balanced mix of anti-inflation policies which places more emphasis on reduced government spending and labour cost restraint?

Senator RYAN —I am afraid that I will have to disappoint Senator Archer in the short term. Because I do not have that information available, I cannot confirm his statistics. I will have to refer his question to the Minister and I will get an answer as quickly as I can.