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Tuesday, 4 December 1973
Page: 2387

Senator CAVANAGH (South AustraliaMinister for Aboriginal Affairs) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Again, as the Bill was introduced in the other place and the second reading speech has been circulated, I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

The PRESIDENT Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

(The speech read as follows)—

The purpose of this Bill is to appropriate $9m in 1973-74 for a growth centre at Albury- Wodonga. In the Budget, the Government announced its intention to allocate $33m for the new cities program. The remaining $24m will be directed to other growth centres and related projects.

On 23 October 1973 the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam and the Premiers of New South Wales and Victoria signed an agreement on the development structure to be established for the Albury-Wodonga growth centre and the legal framework within which this will operate. This Bill is designed to provide financial assistance to these States on the basis of that agreement. The moneys appropriated by this Bill will be applied in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Albury-Wodonga Development Bill 1973 and the Albury-Wodonga Area Development Agreement which have also been introduced into the House yesterday.

As the title of this Bill makes clear, its purpose is to provide financial assistace to the States of New South Wales and Victoria in the current financial year for purposes connected with the development of Albury-Wodonga. Clause 4 of the Bill provides that when a State has incurred expenditure this financial year in accordance with an approved program, it is then entitled to financial assistance. Clause 8 of the Bill qualifies Clause 4 by providing that the States' entitlement to financial assistance is subject to conditions set out in the Bill and to such other conditions as are agreed between the 3 governments.

Clause 10 provides for financial assistance in respect of land for urban use by way of loans. Sub-clause (2) provides for interest to' be at the long-term bond rate or at such other rate as the Treasurer, with the concurrence of the Minister, determines. This sub-clause therefore allows for some flexibility in financial arrangements. Each advance is repayable over a period of up to 30 years.

Sub-clause (3) of clause 10 provides for a deferment period for the commencement of repayments of principal and payments of interest. This deferment period is not to exceed 10 years. During this time, the interest is to compound half-yearly. When a deferment is granted, repayments will still be completed 30 years after the first advance.

Under Clause 11, financial assistance for the acquisition of land for buffer zones, conservation areas and major recreation space can be made by way of non-repayable non-interest bearing grants. This is subject to a matching grant by the State of such proportion as the Minister, with the concurrence ofthe Treasurer, determines.

Honourable senators will recall that the Albury-Wodonga Development Bill, which I have already introduced into the Senate, has an attachment—th e Albury-Wodonga Development Agreement. Part III of this Agreement sets out the basic financial arrangements for the development of the growth complex. Clause 14 of this present Bill requires a copy of every future amending agreement to be tabled in the Senate.

I need not delay honourable senators any further with the provisions of this Bill as my second reading speech on the Albury-Wodonga Development Bill fully covered the various aspects of this important growth centre project. I refer honourable senators to the text of that speech and the explanatory memorandum of the Agreement which accompanied this Bill. I commend the Albury-Wodonga Development (Financial Assistance) Bill 1973 to the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Withers) adjourned.

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