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Tuesday, 13 November 1973
Page: 1751

Senator Withers asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(   1 ) What is the basis for the granting of Regulation 97 rental assistance and what is the initial period of grant.

(2)   What circumstances warrant an extension of the initial period and what is the maximum period up to which grants may be made.

Senator Murphy - The Prime Minister has provided the following information for reply to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) The Public Service Board has advised me that the principle involved in allowances under Regulation 97 is the reimbursement of additional expenditure incurred by a married officer on permanent transfer by reason of the nonavailability of a suitable unfurnished residence at the new location. The measure of this additional expenditure is the difference between reasonable actual expenses at the new location and the expense which would be incurred were suitable accommodation available at the new location. Sub-Regulation (2) of Regulation 97 provides that an allowance may be granted upon evidence to the satisfaction of the Chief Officer that suitable premises for residence are not available at the time the officer reaches his new station. Payment of an allowance beyond a period of 3 months is subject to the approval of the Public Service Board 's Inspectors in each of the States.

(2)   The circumstances which warrant an extension of the initial period of grant of an allowance is the continued nonavailability of a suitable unfurnished residence at the new location despite the best efforts of the officer or employee to obtain such suitable long term accommodation. The maximum period for which the allowance is payable will therefore vary from locality to locality. The Public Service Inspectors have provided the current information on maximum limits now applying:

New South Wales- Two and a half years

Victoria- Two years

Queensland- One year

South Australia-

Adelaide- One year

Country areas- Two years

Western Australia-

Perth- One year

Country areas- Longer periods according to circumstances.

Tasmania- One year

Australian Capital Territory- The waiting time on the Department of the Capital Territory's housing list (i.e. about three years)

Northern Territory-

Darwin- Two years

Alice Springs- Sixteen months

Katherine and Tennant Creek- Eight months Papua New Guinea- One year.

The maximum periods listed above may in very special circumstances be extended e.g. where an officer was building his own home and had been delayed through circumstances beyond his control from meeting the building timetable.

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