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Wednesday, 20 February 1980
Page: 187

Mr Morris asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 6 November1979:

(1)   Who occupies the rental houses, flats and home units owned by the (a) Department of Transport, (b) Australian National Railways Commission, (c) Australian National Airlines Commission and (d) Qantas Airways Limited referred to in the answer to question No. 3932 (Hansard,11 September 1979, pages 977-9).

(2)   On what basis are these dwellings allocated.

(3)   On what basis are the rentals levied on occupants calculated.

(4)   Do these rentals cover the costs incurred by the authorities referred to in part (1 ) in providing these houses; if not, what is the rationale behind the provision of housing at a rate below cost to each authority.

Mr Hunt - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   (a) The Department of Transport has two houses in the Australian Capital Territory, both situated at Canberra airport.

Residence No. 1- this dwelling had been let to a Department of Transport groundsman who recently obtained alternate private accommodation. The residence has subsequently been let to an airport concessionaire.

Residence No. 2- this dwelling is currently let to a Department of Transport groundsman.

(b)   Australian National Railways Commission has 6 houses and 2 flats in Canberra. The following officers presently occupy the respective houses and flats:

Residence No. 1- Goods Shed Assistant; Residence No. 2- Shunter; Residence No. 3-Fettler; Residence No. 4- Public Transport Commission of NSW employee; Residence No. 19- Superintendent; Residence No. 20- Shunter; Flat No. 1- currently vacant; Flat No. 2-Checker.

(c)   Australian National Airlines Commission has one house in Canberra. This house is currently on the market. It was previously let to the Australian National Airlines Commission Assistant Manager, ACT Branch. It was a condition of employment that this house be made available for the Assistant Manager. This condition of employment no longer applies.

(d)   Qantas Airways Limited has one house in Canberra. This house is occupied by the Qantas Manager, ACT Branch, and is provided as a condition of his employment.

(2)   (a) Department of Transport- Applicants are assessed by a departmental Housing Committee taking into account marital status and number of children. In the case of Residence No. 1 at Canberra airport, there were no departmental employees needing accommodation at the time the house became vacant. As the department had a continuing requirement for the residence, the house was not declared for disposal to the Department of Administrative Services. It was not made available for officers of other departments as the house is not in a residential area and is situated on the airport. An approach was made to the Department by Budget Rent-a-Car Systems Pty Ltd one of the airport car rental concessionaires who under the terms of the airport car rental contract required space to be provided for its operations. As no office space in the terminal was available to Budget, the Department leased Residence No. 1 to Budget for a period of 5 years for use as an office, at a commercial rental much greater than the economic rental normally charged to departmental employees.

(b)   Australian National Railways CommissionApplicants are allocated houses by the Superintendent of the Australian National Railways Commission. The Commission endeavours to provide transferrable officers with staff residences and I understand the occasion has never arisen where a residence has not been available for a transferring employee.

(c)   Australian National Airlines Commission- Before the Australian National Airlines Commission residence was placed on the market, it was an automatic allocation to the person occupying the position of Australian National Airlines Commission Assistant Manager ACT Branch.

(d)   Qantas- The Qantas residence is an automatic allocation to the Qantas Manager, ACT Branch.

(3)   (a) Department of Transport- Occupants are charged an economic rental assessed by the Department of Administrative Services on the following basis:

(i)   an amortisation and interest factor of 0.054073 is applied to the cost of the improvements,

(ii)   an interest rate of 5 per cent is charged on the capital expended to acquire and /or service the land,

(iii)   a flat rate for repairs and maintenance of $364 a year is charged,

(iv)   a flat rate for administration of $60 per year per dwelling is charged,

(v)   insurance premiums at the rates in use by the Director, Defence Service Homes are charged.

(b)   Australian National Railways Commission- Rental is assessed by the Australian National Railways Commission, taking into account the following factors:

(i)   the standard of accommodation provided,

(ii)   the rental applied to similar accommodation in the area,

(iii)   an amount enabling the Commission to receive a 6 per cent return on capital investment.

(c)   Australian National Airlines Commission- Rental of the Australian National Airlines Commission's only house was $50 per week before being placed on the market. Periodic reviews were made taking into account national wage increases.

(d)   Qantas Airways Limited- Rental of the house occupied by the Qantas' ACT Branch Manager is assessed at a rate of 10 per cent of the occupants salary. The present Manager pays $41 .2 5 per week.

(4)   Rentals charged by the Department of Transport and the Authorities referred to in part (1) applicable to the respective residences and flats are determined to recover capital costs and cover general maintenance.

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