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Tuesday, 6 September 1960

Mr Davies (BRADDON, TASMANIA) s asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice -

1.   How many ex-servicemen have been settled on (a) dairy farms and (b) farms in each of the following areas: - King Island, Mawbanna, Preolenna, Montagu?

2.   How many settlers have relinquished their properties in these areas, and what reasons were given for doing so?

3.   What has been the total cost to the Commonwealth of developing war service land settlement projects in these areas?

4.   On what basis is the (a) annual rental for land and improvements and (b) repayment of advances on live-stock, plant and equipment, &c, determined during the assistance period under this scheme?

5.   On what factors will the valuations be based to determine the option to purchase obligations of King Island soldier settlers in respect of (a) land and improvements and (b) stock, plant and equipment, &c?

6.   What time is likely to elapse after the completion of the assistance period before option to purchase conditions are available to the settlers?

7.   How many war service land settlement farms on King Island have been re-assessed by the Committee of Investigation set up by the Commonwealth and the State of Tasmania last year?

8.   What is the (a) acreage of re-development involved to date and (b) total amount credited to King Island settlers?

Mr Adermann - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   King Island, 111 dairy farms, 41 sheep farms; Mawbanna, 11 dairy farms; Preolenna, 8 dairy farms; Montagu, 7 dairy farms settled, 40 still to be allotted.

2.   Not known. The selection of settlers and allotment of holdings are matters for the State.

3.   Expenditure to 30th July, 1960, on development was - King Island, £3,500,928; Mawbanna £162,815; Preolenna, £122,790; Montagu, £2,047,060.

4.   During the assistance period, settlers are not required to pay any rent or interest or principal on advances other than advances for working expenses. 5. (a) The option price for the land as developed will be cost or reasonable market value whichever is the lower less the sale price to the settler of structural improvement. (b) Stock, plant and equipment are purchased by the settlers with advances from the settlement authorities.

6.   Settlers cannot exercise the option to freehold until they have occupied the farms for six years under perpetual lease conditions.

7.   Details of 49 farms have been received by the Commonwealth. Others have been investigated, but the reports have to be considered by the Closer Settlement Board before reference to the Commonwealth.

8.   In respect of the farms for which details are available to the Commonwealth - (a) 4,479 acres; (b) £91,221 13s. lOd.

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