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Wednesday, 16 May 1928

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

Will he make a detailed statement to the House showing on what basis (a) the present rates for the Federal Capital Territory of 4d. general, and 2d. lighting, were arrived at, and (b) the value of land was assessed for rating purposes? .

Sir NEVILLE HOWSE - I regret that the information is not yet available; but I shall make a statement on the subject as soon as possible.

On the 10th May, the honorable member for Ballarat (Mr. McGrath), asked me the following questions : -

1.   What is the total cost per fortnight for a six-roomed brick house valued at £1,000, built on land valued at £350, including house rent, ground rent, kerbing and guttering charges, hedge planting, general, lighting, water, sewerage, road, and any other rates (showing each item separately) ?

2.   After paying these charges each fortnight, what would a resident in the Territory, with a salary of £300 per annum, have left to provide food, clothing, doctor's and dentist's fees, and other necessaries for his family?

3.   Will the Minister make a full statement of the position to the House, indicating what action the Government proposes to take to give some relief to those residing in the Territory who are being forced to pay not only excessive house and ground rentals but heavy rates as well?

I am now in a position to give the following replies: -


The total cost could be £5 7s. 3d. per fortnight.

2.   Salary, £300 per annum. - Rent, &c, as above, £5 7s. 3d., leaving £6 2s. 9d. per fortnight. If the occupant were a permanent public servant he would probably be in receipt of a special living allowance, in addition to his salary, but his salary would be subject to a deduction on account of superannuation. It is pointed out, however, that it is unlikely that a person in receipt of a salary of £300 per annum would be in occupation of a house of the value mentioned, as houses at lower rentals have been provided to meet the needs of persons on small salaries.

3.   The possibility of providing a cheaper type of house than has hitherto been practicable is being continuously explored by the Federal Capital Commission. Owing to the variations in cost during the period in which its housing scheme for public servants has been executed, the Commission is now completing a general review of the costs and rentals, and proposes to submit a report, with recommendations, with the object of removing any unfairness in the incidence of charges due to construction at a more expensive period. The report, when to hand, will receive very careful consideration.

Sir Neville Bowse.

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