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Wednesday, 29 September 1971
Page: 1714

Mr Grassby asked the Acting Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   Can he say whether (a) loan funds owed by the Sydney Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board at 30th June 1970 amounted to $63 7m, with interest payments, loan repayments and associated expenses totalling $42m representing half the rates collected, (b)$900m are committed by the Board to essential works over the next 10 years and (c) the Board is committed to repay $300m of its loans in the same period.

(2)   In view of the urgent need to provide basic facilities for 3,000,000 people, will he confer with the appropriate State authorities and the Board to seewhat Commonwealth assistance can be given directly to ease the burden on the individual ratepayer and make the planned works programme possible.

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

(1)   (a) The Report of the New South Wales Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board for the year ended 30th June 1970 shows that it had outstanding loans and advances totalling $627.5m at 30th June 1970 and that in 1969-70 expenditure by it on debt' charges and associated items totalled $42m, compared with the Board's total operating receipts in the period of $88.3m.

(b)   I am advised that theBoard has publicly announced a capital works programme of some $900m over the 10 years commencing 1970-71.

(c)   In the abovementioned annual report the Board has estimated that, over the 10-year period mentioned in (b), loans totalling approximately $300m will mature. This amount is made up of $250m in respect of loans outstanding at 30th June 1970, and an estimated $50m in respect of loans expected to be raised during the 10-year period but with currencies such that they will also mature during the period.

(2)   The responsibility for providing the facilities referred to rests with the State Governments and their dependent authorities. The Commonwealth provides the States annually with large and increasing amounts of general purpose assistance, both revenue and capital, which the States are free to allocate as they may determine. In addition, State authorities have access to borrowings under borrowing programmes as approved by the Loan Council. It would not therefore be appropriate for me to 'confer with the appropriate State authorities and the Board' as suggested by the honourable member. I should nevertheless add that the New South Wales Government has approached the Commonwealth Government about the particular problems that are said to be confronting the New South Wales Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board in the financing of its future capital works programme.

Education: Scholarships (Question No. 3974)

Mr Kennedy asked the Minister for

Education and Science, upon notice:

How many students have (a) sat for and (b) been awarded Commonwealth Technical Scholarships in each technical school in the Electoral Division of Bendigo in each year since the scheme was introduced.

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Statistical records covering schools in particular electoral divisions are not maintained by my Department. However, if the honourable member cares to provide me with a list of the schools in which he is interested, then I shall see what details are available for those schools.

Housing: Northern Territory (Question No. 4013)

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for the

Interior, upon notice:

(1)   How many (a) houses and (b) flats were built in (i) Darwin and (ii) the rest of the Northern Territory in 1970-71 by the Administration, the Housing Commission and private builders, respectively.

(2)   What was the waiting period for bouses and flats at 30th June 1971.

(3)   How many persons were waiting at 30th June 1971.

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


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