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Wednesday, 24 February 1971

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I think the honourable senator is well aware that a tentative allocation of $ 1 00m has been made to the States, lt has been agreed to, subject to annual review. All States, except Victoria, have accepted the proposition. The basis on which the acceptance has been made is that S75m shall be a loan and the S25m shall be a grant. State instrumentalities will administer the scheme. 1 think that in New South Wales the Rural Reconstruction Board and the Closer Settlement Advisory Board will administer the scheme. I understand that in Queensland a new Rural Reconstruction Board is to be set up. In other States the instrumentalities to be set up have to be agreed to as yet. The Commonwealth Government does not envisage setting up an instrumentality. In my home State, Western Australia, the present State Government- has set up a committee of State officers' to investigate the conditions prevailing in that State and to see in what way the % 1 4.8m, which the State is to receive, will -be- distributed. The type of board that is' set Up in Western Australia will depend on- the report of the committee. I believe that at the time of the meeting with the State Ministers, the Commonwealth envisaged that a person, who applied to a reconstruction board, was refused on the condition that his proposition would not be a -viable one and had to leave his farm, would be given training for a certain occupation that he may desire to follow. 1 think it is envisaged that some assistance should be given to him to house himself and his family, but this will be decided by the various State organisations set up to administer the scheme in the Slates.

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