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Thursday, 10 May 1928

Sir NEVILLE HOWSE - I regret that the particulars asked for by the honorable member are not available at present, but I am taking steps to obtain the information.

Mr. McGRATH(through Mr. Fenton) asked the Minister for Home and Territories, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that residents in the Federal Capital Territory, many of whom are at present paying from £104 to £208 per annum rental, have been served with rating charges of 4d. in the £1 for general rates, and 2d. in the £1 for lighting, on a pro rata basis, to the end of last year?

2.   Is it also a fact that with each notice was an intimation that if the rates were not paid within 30 days 10 per cent, would be added; if so, what is the reason for penalizing those who are unable to pay, on such short notice ?

3.   Is it intended to impose further charges for sewerage, water and road rates; if so, what rates are to be applied, and from what date?

4.   Is it a fact that these rates will make tenants liable for amounts up to £25 per annum ?

5.   What further charges, in addition to those mentioned above, will have to be met by persons residing in the Federal Capital Territory ?

6.   Under what ordinance are tenants made liable for rates?

7.   Is it a fact that in no other part of Australia are tenants held responsible for the payment of rates?

8.   Has legal opinion been obtained as to the legality of making tenants, and not the owners of the land, liable for rates as well as rent; does the Government endorse the action of the Commission, and will they support the Commission should any legal proceedings be taken by residents in regard to these charges?

9.   Is it a fact that the values of certain allotments of land at Eastlake are being increased by the Commission for rating purposes, and that lessees have been advised that, if dissatisfied, they may appeal to the Commission ?

10.   Does this mean that the authority which fixed the values will decide the appeal; if so, will the Minister remedy what appears to be an injustice?

Sir NEVILLE HOWSE - I regret that the information which the honorable member desires is not at present available, but I am having inquiry made into the matters mentioned.

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