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Wednesday, 20 November 1974
Page: 2566

Senator MELZER - Is the Minister representing the Minister for Housing and Construction aware that there appears to be confusion within the ranks of the Returned Services League as to those persons eligible for housing grants? Will the Minister inform me whether all those people, men and women, who enlisted in the forces are eligible for a housing loan? What is the maximum loan available?

Senator CAVANAGH - I would not think there is any confusion among returned services organisations about the availability or the conditions of housing grants. The organisations are continually meeting and sending on to the Minister for Housing and Construction proposals to extend the eligibility for loans or to extend the time for payments. This seems to indicate that they are quite conversant with the present position of eligibility. The brief answer to the question of whether all men and women who enlisted are eligible for a housing grant is no. The eligibility in respect of service in the forces is limited to persons who were members of the Australian forces and nursing services enlisted or appointed for or employed on active service outside Australia or on a ship of war during the 1914-18 or the 1939-45 wars and, subject to the prescribed conditions, persons with service in connection with the warlike operations in Korea or in Malaya, including Singapore, or who served in 'special service' as defined in the Repatriation (Special Overseas Service) Act or who, on or after 1 December 1972, completed a specified period of normal peacetime service. This last category applies to national service trainees who completed their national service. The present housing grant is $ 12,000. The Treasurer announced in the Budget Speech that this amount would be raised to $15,000. It is anticipated legislation increasing the grant from $12,000 to $15,000 will be introduced during this session of Parliament.

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