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Wednesday, 16 June 1915

Mr POYNTON (Grey) . - I want ; to emphasize the point raised by the hon'";..orable member for Angas with regard ? to the departmental method of allowing only 3 per cent. on the capitalized value of the property resumed from the day the proclamation is issued. In the case of properties occupied by the owner as a dwelling the position is not so serious, but if a house is let, and the owner, as the result of the Government proclamation, gets only 3 per cent. on the capitalized value, the position is very different. In some cases an owner might be dependent on the rents from a property resumed. These rents might give him a return of from 7½ per cent. to 10 per cent., but the Department will give him only 3 per cent. In such a case, a very grave injustice would be done. Instances of this kind have occurred at Port Augusta.

Mr Archibald - I do not think we have resumed any land there yet.

Mr POYNTON - Yes, you have.

Mr Richard Foster - Two years ago.

Mr POYNTON - An area of 160 acres on the south side of Conway Town was resumed, and a proclamation was issued subsequently, stating that the properties not required immediately could remain in the occupation of the present tenants on payment of 3 per cent. on the capitalized value. This is distinctly unfair. As I have said, where an owner occupies a property, it makes no difference; but where a place is let, it makes all the difference. It shows that you cannot lay down a law and make it applicable in every instance. I want, also, to complain of the delay in reaching finality in these matters. It is a long while since those resumptions at Port Augusta were authorized. I know in one case a claim was put in on my advice, and it has been outstanding for a long while.

Mr Archibald - How long ago was that?

Mr POYNTON - This was before the House met after the adjournment. The land was resumed three months before that. Mr. Robert Hall is one of the valuators, and Mr. Holdsworth is another. I cannot understand how it takes so long to arrive at a valuation of a property of four or five rooms. In the ordinary course of business, we could get the valuation inside a few hours, and the departmental valuers ought to be able to do it as quickly. This is the case of a working man who bought a block of land and started to build on it. When the building was partly finished, he received notice that it was to be resumed, so he is now between the deep sea and somewhere else. He does not know what to do, for he has no money to get another place, because his money is tied up in a property which is half built, and he cannot get payment from the Government for it. This is a simple valuation, and it ought to be made without delay. It has not yet arrived at the stage when there is any matter in dispute. I could understand the delay if the valuation by the owner was much in excess of the valuation by the Department. But in this case there has so far been no valuation by the Department, although the owner's valuation has been sent in for some time. Ten or eleven weeks ago I was informed by officials of the Department that the matter would be specially hurried on, and I ask the Minister now to see that it is proceeded with.

Mr Archibald - I shall see what I can do.

Mr POYNTON - I wish the Minister not to forget that where property is resumed of which the owner is not the occupant, but for which he is receiving a certain rental, the practice adopted of allowing him only 3 per cent. of thecapitalized value is not fair to the owner.

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