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Thursday, 25 August 1960


Mr HAROLD HOLT - I did state that, on the information available to me, a record rate of domestic housing and flat construction was occurring in Australia. If the honorable gentleman wishes to have the figures I shall make them available to him. I did not follow that part of his question which related to Commonwealth housing. The objective, surely, is to secure throughout Australia housing adequate to the needs of the increasing population and to reduce any lag which may have occurred over the years of war. We do not want a situation to develop in which housing construction increases to such an extent that a crisis develops for the industry in future, and in which immediate scarcities are created together with rising costs. This would tell against the home purchaser who is looking for a house at the present time. That is one of the reasons behind the Government's economic planning as illustrated in the current Budget. The contribution to housing finance by the Commonwealth Government has been made known on a number of occasions. Not only is particular provision made for State housing schemes, but £35,000,000 a year is provided for war service homes. In addition, because of the influence that we exert through the Reserve Bank, the funds of the Commonwealth Trading Bank and the Commonwealth Savings Bank are channelled into domestic borrowing for home construction purposes. All in all, I think it is probably correct to say that something in the neighbourhood of £80,000,000 a year is provided, either directly by the Commonwealth Government or by the financial institutions which are linked with it.







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