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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3101

Mr Lloyd (MURRAY, VICTORIA) asked the Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development, upon notice, on 20 September 1977:

How and where will most of the remaining $6.2m provided in the Budget for decentralisation assistance and intended for general decentralisation be spent.

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

On October 4 1 announced the Government's intention to establish a Commonwealth Decentralisation Advisory Board to advise me on assistance for decentralisation projects and on the general features of the new Commonwealth Decentralisation program.

The Advisory Board will comprise members from the Government and the business and financial community and will have responsibility for recommending to me on the merits of projects submitted to the Advisory Board which are seeking Commonwealth decentralisation assistance.

The new program will operate Australia-wide. It will, however, retain the relative cost effectiveness of selective decentralisation by concentrating its assistance on those nonmetropolitan centres which have sound long term growth prospects. The State governments will be consulted on centres eligible for assistance in their own States.

The Commonwealth will also pay particular attention to those non-metropolitan centres in which the local community has made clear efforts to promote their own rate of development.

Assistance under this new initiative will be of a capital nature and will be available for community development projects which will encourage the re-location or expansion of stable employment generating activities and also for tertiary and manufacturing industries wishing to expand or re-locate.

I believe that this is an important initiative which will complement existing State decentralisation assistance and reinforce this government's continuing commitment to nonmetropolitan economic growth and stability.

The Prime Minister has written to State Premiers conveying details of the features of this new program and seeking nominations from them for membership of the Board. In addition, I am writing to all non-metropolitan local governments advising them of this new initiative.

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