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Wednesday, 1 November 1967

Mr Hansen asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing, upon notice:

1.   What are the maximum housing loans available from each State housing authority?

2.   What is the minimum deposit required by each of the State authorities for the purchase of a new home?

3.   Have these amounts of (a) maximum housing loans and (b) minimum deposits been increased or decreased over the last ten years; if so, in what way have they been varied in each State?

Mr Bury - The Minister for Housing has supplied the following- answers to the honourable member's questions: 1 and 2. The maximum loan and the minimum deposit required by each of the State housing authorities for the purchase of a home erected under the 1956-1966 Housing Agreement are as follows:

In addition, the housing authorities of some States Housing Agreement. The maximum loan and the administer home purchase schemes which are minimum deposit applicable in these cases are as financed from sources other than the 1956-1966 follows:

3.   Yes, there have been a number of variations to the amounts of maximum loan and minimum deposit over the last 10 years. The following is a comparison of the present position with that of 10 years ago where these variations have occurred:

For homes erected under the Housing Agreements:

(a)   In 1957 the Housing Commission, Victoria, required a minimum deposit of 5% of the first $4,000 plus 10% of the balance of the purchase price, whereas the minimum deposit is now $200, and nil in some cases.

(b)   The South Australian Housing Trust's 1957 maximum loan of $5,500 and minimum deposit of $600 have been eased to 'no prescribed amount' for the advance and a minimum deposit of $100.

(c)   The State Housing Commission of Western Australia in 1957 offered a maximum loan of $5,500 with a minimum deposit of $100. As indicated in the answer to 1 and 2 above, the maximum loans are now $6,000 and $5,800, and the minimum deposits 10% of valuation and $200, for the mortgage and contract of sale schemes respectively. For homes financed from sources other than the Housing Agreements:

(a)   The Queensland Housing Commission has raised its maximum loan for a house built on the applicant's land from a range of between $4,800 and $5,500 (depending on construction material) in 1957 to $8,000 at the present time. For a house built on Commission land the minimum deposit has been varied from 5% of the capital cost in 1957 to $500 in 1967.

(b)   In 1957 the South Australian Housing Trust was not providing first mortgage finance for its own sales scheme as it is doing at present, although it was making advances on security of a second mortgage in some circumstances.

(c)   The State Housing Commission of Western

Australia has increased its maximum advance on mortgage under its freehold scheme from $5,000 in 1957 to the current $6,000. The contract of sale scheme listed in 1 and 2 above was not in operation in 1957. For the Leasehold Scheme the minimum deposit was usually $50 in 1957 compared with $200 at present but there has been no change in the amount advanced. There has been no change in the second mortgage scheme.

Northern Territory

Mr Harold Holt - On 9th March 1967, the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) asked me a question about Northern Territory land laws.

I have been informed, and the honourable member is also no doubt aware, that a Bill to amend the Crown Lands Ordinance was introduced into the Northern Territory Legislative Council in May 1967. The proposed changes in the law resulted largely from an inquiry into pastoral and agricultural leases in the Northern Territory which had been begun some two years earlier. The changes proposed which had the support of the Government were incorporated with minor amendments in the Crown Lands Ordinance which was passed in August and assented to in September 1967.

I am also advised that as a consequence of these changes pastoral lessees may now carry out agriculture on pastoral land. A pastoral lessee may apply to the Administrator for an agricultural lease (or leases) over land held by him under pastoral lease but used by him for agricultural development. If the Land Board is satisfied that the pastoral lessee is complying with the terms and conditions of his lease and there is a reasonable prospect of agricultural development of that land being carried on successfully, the Administrator may offer an agricultural lease (or leases) to the pastoral lessee. As regards maximum size, while the legislation provides for a maximum size of 100,000 acres the actual size of a lease will be determined by the economic area required on the particular land for commercial farming. The maximum aggregate area that can be held by one person or interest under agricultural leasehold is 200,000 acres and such agricultural leases may be disposed of with the consent of the Administrator.

The land specifically referred to by the honourable member is Tipperary Station which is held under pastoral lease granted in I 960. Whilst this land may be developed by the lessees for agricultural purposes, the proscriptions of the Crown Lands Ordinance apply, namely that an agricultural lease in perpetuity over , any of the land so developed will not be granted to the lessees beyond an aggregate holding of 200,000 acres at any one time, and the disposal of agricultural leases so held is subject to the consent of the Administrator.

As to the suggestions made about, the water resources of the Daly River, I am informed that Territory legislation prevents any person from impeding the flow of natural waters without a permit. Similarly a permit is required, other than under riparian rights, to draw water from the Daly River. I am also informed that the Tipperary Land Corporation have not applied for a permit under the legislation.


Mr Harold Holt - On 29th August the honourable member for Fremantle (Mr Beazley) asked me a question without notice about the obtaining of separate health and mortality statistics for Australian Aboriginals.

The development of separate health and mortality statistics for Aboriginals may well give rise to difficulties of identification and definition. However, as I said in my statement to the House on 7th September 1967, the new Office of Aboriginal Affairs will be concerned with policy co-ordination between the Commonwealth and the States. Any statistics which may be required to make this work complete and effective will, as far as possible, be assembled. When I announced the formation of this Office I also said that the Commonwealth would continue to co-operate with the States in special campaigns to improve the health of Aboriginals. The collection of statistics to assist in any such campaigns will be considered as the need arises-.

Immigrant Children

Mr Harold Holt - On 19th September, the honourable member for Corio (Mr

Scholes) asked a question concerning educational difficulties experienced by migrant children because of their lack of knowledge of English. I said I would see whether I could supplement the answer I gave on that occasion.

I am advised that this is a matter with which both the Department of Immigration and the Department of Education and Science are concerned, and about which discussions have been had with State Education authorities.

There is no doubt that a child who comes to Australia from a country where English is not spoken does meet with difficulties, particularly where his parents do not speak English. However, I am informed that all States have introduced some special provisions to cope with the language problems of migrant children and the relevant Commonwealth Departments will, of course, continue to maintain their interest in the question.

Newcastle Sports Arena

Mr Harold Holt - On 28th September, the honourable member for Shortland (Mr Griffiths) asked me a question relating to the possibility of allowing donations of $2 or more for the Newcastle sports arena project as deductible for income tax purposes.

I have discussed the question with my colleague the Treasurer who has advised me that representations for the allowance of gifts to the project have been considered on a number of occasions, the most recent being when the 1967-68 Budget was in course of preparation. It has not, however, been among the concessions the Government has decided to grant.

I might add that it is not practicable to extend the gift provisions of the income tax law in each instance in which it can be shown that an appeal is being conducted for a worthwhile cause. Thus, while there is no doubt as to the worthwhile nature of the Newcastle project, its circumstances are not considered to warrant the application of the gift provisions. There is the further very practical consideration that if gifts to the Newcastle project were to be allowed, it would be difficult to refuse to extend similar treatment to other projects of this type. This could lead to a significant loss of Commonwealth taxation revenue which would need to be made good, other things being equal, by increasing the rates of taxation.

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