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Thursday, 31 May 1973
Page: 3050

Mr Scholes asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   What sum was advanced to the Victorian Government as the Commonwealth share of the cost of relief for flood victims in early 1973.

(2)   What were the terms under which Commonwealth assistance was made available.

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

(1)   There has been no request by the Victorian Government, to date, for any payment by the Australian Government towards the cost of relief for flood victims in early 1973. I understand, however, that the Victorian Government may request some payments shortly.

(2)   In my absence overseas, the Acting Prime Minister announced on 22 February 1973 that the Australian Government was prepared to match, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, expenditure by the Victorian Government on measures for the relief of personal hardship and distress occasioned by the Seymour floods. This matching assistance would be by way of grant. The measures covered by the Australian Government's offer, which was confirmed in a letter I wrote to the Premier on 26 March 1973, could include the provision of emergency food, clothing and accommodation as well as the repair and replacement of essential items of furniture and personal effects of those in necessitous circumstances as a result of the floods. In the letter to which I have referred I agreed to a request by the Premier that the Australian Government's offer could be taken to apply to other areas in Victoria that were also affected by floods at that time.

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