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Friday, 25 May 1973
Page: 2723

The CHAIRMAN - Order! The honourable member will be out of order if he comments on matters which were the subject of the second reading debate. He must comment on the Bill.

Mr DONALD CAMERON (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I had better be very careful, because even the opportunity to speak is a privilege these days. I draw the Minister's attention to the fact that in Queensland today the average Housing Commission home - that is, one built by the Commission - costs in the vicinity of $12,000 to $13,000. In Queensland the State Government lends the purchaser up to $12,000. Therefore, a prospective renter or home buyer has the opportunity to take advantage of the Queensland Governments scheme either by taking a home on a rental basis and putting money aside towards a deposit or by raising money and buying the home from the word 'go*.

I think the Government might agree to the amendment which the honourable member for Herbert has moved. I ask the Minister whether he intends to agree to it. He is shaking his head. Shame! What the Government is doing is depriving not only young people but all people of the opportunity to own their own homes. I conclude now - I realise that I have been given an opportunity - by simply stating that those who thought that this nation's nineteenth Prime Minister was an evil centralist have the opportunity now to stand-

The CHAIRMAN - Order! I suggest that the honourable member debate the clauses of the Bill. He is making a speech which has very little relevance to the Bill.

Mr DONALD CAMERON (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I am speaking in the context of the importance of the 30 per cent home ownership provision and of the way in which the Government is imposing this on the States; that is, that they can have the money if they spend it the government's way. I will bear your comments in mind, Mr Chairman. Those who thought that our nineteenth Prime Minister was an evil centralist now have the opportunity to stand side by side with those who did not think so and witness the emergence and proliferation of a brand of centralism which leaves even the mildest federalist stunned and bewildered. This is exactly what is happening in this country. The government is fooling nobody by imposing these restrictions and saying to the States: 'You can have the money, but you must spend it our way'. People throughout the nation are starting to awaken to the fact that the Government, after winning one election in only one place, is trying to run the whole country as the central government. This is not good enough. I am not one who advocates that people who are unable to get their own homes because of unfortunate circumstances should be precluded from obtaining homes, and I realise that there must be some homes for rental only. But what I do say to the Minister is that the State Governments face elections every 3 years, just as the Federal Government does, and if they are not correctly assessing and providing homes for these people surely there will be a backlash against them as State governments. Why do we in Canberra have to set out with all our tremendous wisdom and say to them: 'You will get this money on the condition that you do it in the way we impose upon you'? I ask. you, Mr Minister - you are only a new Minister - to reflect seriously on this and if you are not going to accept changes on this occasion, please avoid similar legislation in the future. I should not be warning you because it will be to our advantage. It will lead to your downfall and the downfall of the new Government.

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