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Wednesday, 16 May 1973
Page: 2223

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Housing) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill to amend the States Grants (Housing) Act 1971 is to withdraw the Commonwealth assistance to the States in the form of grants of $2.75m a year for 30 years in respect of any advances they may make to their housing authorities and their home builders accounts during the 3 financial years commencing 1st July 1973. The basic housing grant of $2.75m a year in respect of State housing activities in each of the financial years 1971-72 and 1972-73 will continue to be paid for the remainder of the 30-year periods in respect of those years.

It is intended that from 1st July next the bulk of the Commonwealth's offer of housing assistance to the States will be in the form of advances at a highly concessional rate of interest under an agreement. As, under the agreement, it is proposed that the Commonwealth Minister will determine the amount of welfare housing advances to a State during the next 5 years, the Australian Government will be able to ensure that an increasing flow of finance will be available to the States to enable them to expand the construction of homes for needy persons and families. May I draw to the attention of honourable members that this Bill does not repeal the offer of a grant of $ 1.25m per annum for the next 3 years to the States as a contribution towards the cost to them of the losses they incur in letting a number of dwellings at less than their economic rents. I commend this Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Bonnett) adjourned.

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