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Thursday, 14 November 1974
Page: 2382

The PRESIDENT -Is leave granted?

Senator Townley - No. I have not seen a copy of the second reading speech.

The PRESIDENT - Leave is not granted.

Senator Townley - Wait until we get the second reading speech and the Bill on our desks.

Senator CAVANAGH - I will read the second reading speech. The purpose of the States Grants (Housing Assistance) Bill is to authorise the Treasurer (Mr Crean) to pay to the States this year the sum of $3 10m for welfare housing in accordance with the provisions of the 1973 Housing Agreement. It will be distributed among the States as follows:

New South Wales, $96,411,000; Victoria, $81,159,000; Queensland, $27,410,000; South Australia, $45,360,000; Western Australia, $35,440,000; and Tasmania $24,220,000-a total of $3 10,000,000.

Taking into account that approximately $25m of the $218,650,000 advanced to the States in 1 973-74 was not spent, this allocation will permit an increase in expenditure this year of $1 16,350,000, or 60 per cent, over 1973-74.

The Bill also authorises the Treasurer to pay to the States in the first 6 months of 1975-76 the sum of $ 1 55m, which is half the allocation to be appropriated for 1974-75, and it will be distributed on the same basis as the advances for the current year. This authority will enable the Treasurer to continue payments to the States for welfare housing in the period from 1 July 1975 until an appropriation measure for 1975-76 is passed by the Parliament.

The advances to be authorised by the States Grants (Housing Assistance) Bill are repayable over a period of 53 years. The rate of interest payable on advances during the full 5 year term of the Agreement is fixed at 4 per cent per annum in respect of advances allocated to the State Housing Authorities and 4% per cent per annum in respect of advances allocated to the Home Builders' Accounts of the States. The repayable interest bearing advances will, as circumstances dictate, be made either from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or the Loan Fund and will be on the terms and conditions set out in the 1973 Housing Agreement as amended. Provision is made for any payments out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for this purpose to be reimbursed in due course from the Loan Fund when the Treasurer considers this appropriate. I commend the Bill to the Senate. I hope that Senator Townley has taken notice of the second reading speech.

Debate (on motion by Senator Carrick) adjourned.

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