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Homes Savings Grant Act 1976

Authoritative Version
Act No. 183 of 1976 as made
An Act to Assist Persons to Purchase or Build their Own Homes.
Date of Assent 13 Dec 1976
Date of repeal 27 Sep 2006
Repealed by Social Security and Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Act 2006

HOMES SAVINGS GRANTS ACT 1976

No. 183 of 1976

An Act to Assist Persons to Purchase or Build their Own Homes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen, and the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia, as follows:—

PART I—PRELIMINARY

Short title.

1. This Act may be cited as the Homes Savings Grant Act 1976.

Commencement.

2. This Act shall come into operation on 1 January 1977.

Object of Act

3. The object of this Act is to encourage and assist persons to purchase or build their own homes and, in the administration of this Act, regard shall be had to that object.

PART II—INTERPRETATION

Interpretation.

4. (1) In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears—

“applicant”, in relation to an application for a grant, means the person or each person, as the case may be, who, in accordance with sub-section 16(2), signed the application or is to be deemed, by virtue of a direction under sub-section 16(3), to have signed the application;

“application “means an application for a grant;

“approved interest”, in relation to a person in relation to land or to a dwelling-house of a kind commonly known as a flat or home unit, means—

(a) an estate in fee simple;

(b) an interest as purchaser of an estate in fee simple from the Crown in right of a State where payment of the purchase price is to be made by instalments over a period of years;

(c) an estate for life approved by the Secretary for the purposes of this Act;

(d) a lease for a term of years from the owner of an estate in fee simple if the Secretary is satisfied that the lease gives reasonable security of tenure to the lessee for a substantial period;

(e) a lease, licence or right of occupancy from the Crown in right of the Commonwealth or a State if the Secretary is satisfied that the lease, licence or right of occupancy gives reasonable security of tenure to the lessee, licensee or holder of the right;

(f) an interest of the kind referred to in sub-section 13(1); or

(g) any other interest declared by the regulations to be an approved interest for the purposes of this Act;

“building society” means a society registered or incorporated as a building society or a co-operative housing society under the law in force in a State or internal Territory relating to building societies or co-operative housing societies, and includes a society registered under Part I of the Building and Co-operative Societies Act, 1901, of New South Wales;

“credit union” means a society or other body of persons—

(a) that is registered or incorporated as a credit union or credit society under the law in force in a State or internal Territory relating to credit unions or credit societies; or

(b) the principal business of which consists of borrowing moneys from its members and lending those moneys to its members and that is registered or incorporated under the law in force in a State or internal Territory relating to such societies or bodies of persons;


 

“deceased spouse”, in relation to an applicant, means a person who died before the prescribed date and was, on the date of his or her death, the spouse of the applicant;

“Department” means the Department of Environment, Housing and Community Development;

“eligible person” means a person who is an eligible person for the purposes of this Act by reason of section 15;

“grant” means a grant under section 17;

“joint applicant” means an applicant in respect of an application in respect of which another person is also an applicant or other persons are also applicants;

“officer” means a person exercising powers, or performing duties or functions, under or in relation to this Act;

“prescribed date”, in relation to a sole applicant who has, or joint applicants one of whom has, or 2 or more of whom together have, entered into a contract of a kind referred to in paragraph 15(1)(a) or (b), or commenced the construction of a dwelling-house as referred to in paragraph 15(1)(c) (whether or not the construction has been completed), means the date that is the date of the contract for the purposes of section 15 or the date on which the construction commenced, as the case may be;

“prescribed person”, in relation to a dwelling-house, means a person who is a prescribed person in relation to that dwelling-house by virtue of sub-section 15(1);

“Regional Director” means a Regional Director appointed under section 35;

“relevant savings period”, in relation to a sole applicant or in relation to joint applicants, means the period that, under sub-section (2), is the relevant savings period in relation to the applicant or applicants, as the case may be;

“savings bank” means—

(a) a savings bank within the meaning of the Banking Act 1959;

(b) State Savings Bank of Victoria;

(c) The Savings Bank of South Australia;

(d) The Rural and Industries Bank of Western Australia;

(e) The Cairns Co-operative Weekly Penny Savings Bank Limited; and

(f) any other bank determined by the Secretary, by notice published in the Gazette, to be a savings bank for the purposes of this Act;

“Secretary” means the Secretary to the Department;

“sole applicant” means an applicant other than a joint applicant;

“trading bank” means—

(a) a trading bank within the meaning of the Banking Act 1959;

(b) Rural Bank of New South Wales;

(c) State Bank of South Australia;

(d) The Rural and Industries Bank of Western Australia; and

(e) any other bank determined by the Secretary, by notice published in the Gazette, to be a trading bank for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Where the Secretary is satisfied, in relation to a sole applicant or in relation to joint applicants, that acceptable savings were held continuously by the applicant or applicants throughout a period that commenced on or after 1 January 1976 and ended immediately before the prescribed date, that period is, for the purposes of this Act, the relevant savings period in relation to the sole applicant or in relation to the joint applicants, as the case may be.

(3) A reference in this Act to moneys borrowed by a person shall be read as including a reference to moneys borrowed by that person together with another person.


 

Retrospective approval of savings banks and trading banks.

5. A determination by the Secretary for the purposes of the definition of “savings bank” or “trading bank” in sub-section 4(1) that a bank is a savings bank or a trading bank for the purposes of this Act may be expressed to have taken effect from a date before the date on which the determination is published in the Gazette (including a date before the commencement of this Act) and, where a determination is so expressed to have taken effect from a date before the date on which the determination is published in the Gazette, the bank to which the determination relates shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to have been a savings bank or a trading bank, as the case may be, on and from the date from which the determination is so expressed to have taken effect.

References to spouse.

6. (1) A reference in this Act, in relation to a date, to the spouse of a person shall be read as a reference to—

(a) a person who, on that date, was legally married to the first-mentioned person, except where, by virtue of a direction of the Secretary under sub-section (2), the persons are to be treated, for the purposes of this paragraph, as if they were not spouses on that date; or

(b) a person who, on that date, was living with the first-mentioned person as husband or wife on a bona fide domestic basis although not legally married to that person.

(2) Where the Secretary is satisfied that, on a particular date, persons who were legally married to each other were living apart and had no intention of resuming co-habitation, he may direct that, for the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), they be treated as persons who were not spouses on that date.

Certain savings deemed to be held before 31 May 1976.

7. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the amount of the acceptable savings of a sole applicant or of joint applicants on 1 January 1976, or on a date after that date and before 31 May 1976, shall be taken to have been the same as the amount of the acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants as at 31 May 1976.

Moneys deposited in banks in external Territories.

8. A reference in this Act to a branch in Australia of a savings bank or of a trading bank shall be read as including a reference to a branch of a savings bank or of a trading bank, as the case may be, in an external Territory.

Commencement and completion of construction of dwelling-house.

9. (1) For the purposes of this Act—

(a) the construction of a dwelling-house shall be deemed to have commenced on—

(i) the day of which work commenced on the laying of the foundations of the dwelling-house; or

(ii) if the Secretary determines that, having regard to all the circumstances, the construction of the dwelling-house should be treated as having commenced on a later day— that later day; and

(b) the completion of the construction of a partly constructed dwelling-house shall be deemed to have commenced on such date as the Secretary determines, having regard to all the circumstances, should be treated as the date on which that construction commenced to be completed.

(2) Unless the contrary intention appears, a reference in this Act to the construction of a dwelling-house by a person (whether through a building-contractor or not) shall, if the construction of the dwelling-house was commenced by another person (whether through a building-contractor or not), be read as a reference to the completion of the construction of the dwelling-house by the first-mentioned person.

Construction of flat or home unit.

10. A reference in this Act to the construction of a dwelling-house, being a dwelling-house of a kind commonly known as a flat or a home unit, shall be read as a reference to the construction of the building containing the flat or home unit.


 

Purchase or ownership of land or dwelling-house.

11. (1) A reference in this Act (other than sections 25 and 26) to the purchase or ownership by a person or persons of land or of an undivided share in land shall be read as a reference to the purchase or ownership, as the case may be, by the person or persons, otherwise than as a trustee or trustees, of an approved interest in the land or in an undivided share in the land.

(2) A reference in this Act to the purchase or ownership of a dwelling-house by a person or persons shall—

(a) in the case of a dwelling-house not being a dwelling-house of a kind commonly known as a flat or home unit, be read as a reference to the purchase or ownership, as the case may be, by the person or persons, otherwise than as a trustee or trustees, of the land on which the dwelling-house is, or is to be, erected; and

(b) in the case of a dwelling-house being a dwelling-house of a kind commonly known as a flat or home unit, be read as a reference to the purchase or ownership, as the case may be, by the person or persons, otherwise than as a trustee or trustees, of—

(i) an approved interest in the flat or home unit in pursuance of a law of a State or internal Territory that enables the holding or enjoyment by different persons of proprietary rights in respect of different flats or home units contained in the one building;

(ii) shares in the capital of a company that is the owner of the land on which the building containing the flat or home unit is erected, being shares that entitle the holder to a right of occupancy (whether under a lease or otherwise) in respect of the flat or home unit; or

(iii) if the person is the purchaser or owner, or the persons are the purchasers or owners, of an undivided share in the land on which the building containing the flat or home unit is, or is to be, erected and, by virtue of an agreement between the person or persons and all the other owners of undivided shares in the land, the person is, or is to be, or the persons are, or are to be, entitled to a right of occupancy in respect of the flat or home unit—the undivided share in that land of the person or persons.

(3) For the purposes of this section—

(a) the purchase of an interest in land, in an undivided share in land or in a flat or home unit, being an interest that, together with an interest already owned by the purchaser or any of the purchasers, by the spouse of the purchaser or of any of the purchasers or by 2 or more of those persons, constitutes an approved interest in the land, in an undivided share in the land or in the flat or home unit, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be the purchase of such an approved interest; and

(b) the purchase of an interest in shares in the capital of a company, being shares that entitle the holder to a right of occupancy in respect of a flat or home unit, shall, if all other interests in those shares are already owned by the purchaser or any of the purchasers, by the spouse of the purchaser or of any of the purchasers or by 2 or more of those persons, be deemed to be the purchase of those shares.

(4) For the purposes of this section—

(a) the purchase or ownership of an approved interest in land by a person or persons (in this sub-section referred to as the “relevant person” or “relevant persons”) jointly with another person or other persons; of

(b) the purchase or ownership of an undivided share in an approved interest in land by a person or persons (in this sub-section also referred to as the “relevant person” or “relevant persons”),

being land in respect of which the relevant person is, or the relevant persons are, entitled to an exclusive right of occupancy, shall, if the Secretary in his discretion so determines, be treated as if it were the purchase or ownership, as the case may be, of that approved interest in the land by the relevant person or relevant persons, as the case may be.


 

Purchase of home to be moved to other land.

12. Where a person has, or persons together have, entered into a contract for the purchase of a structure for removal to land situated in Australia, being a structure intended for use as a dwelling-house on that land, then, for the purposes of this Act—

(a) that contract and any other contract relating to the removal of that structure to, or it siting on, that land shall be deemed to be a contract for the construction by a building-contractor of a dwelling-house on that land; and

(b) construction under that last-mentioned contract shall be deemed to have commenced on the date on which the contract for the purchase of the structure was entered into.

Dwelling-house on rural property.

13. (1) Where—

(a) on or after 1 January 1977, a person has, or persons together have—

(i) entered into a contract for the construction by a building-contractor, on land situated in Australia, of a dwelling-house the construction of which commenced on or after that date; or

(ii) commenced to construct, otherwise than through a building-contractor, on land situated in Australia, a dwelling-house; and

(b) the Secretary is satisfied that the land forms part of rural property owned by another person (whether that other person holds the land as a trustee or not) who has given permission to the first-mentioned person or persons to occupy the dwelling-house when completed,

then, for the purposes of this Act, that permission shall be deemed to create an interest in the land in favour of that first-mentioned person or those first-mentioned persons, and that first-mentioned person or those first-mentioned persons shall be deemed to be the owner or owners of that interest.

(2) In this section, “rural property” means—

(a) land used wholly or substantially for primary production; or

(b) land that the Secretary is satisfied should, having regard to its extent, location, use or zoning, be treated as a rural property for the purposes of this Act.

Trusts, &c.

14. (1) Where—

(a) the owner of land holds the land in trust for another person or other persons; or

(b) a person has entered into a contract for the purchase of land or a dwelling-house to be held in trust for another person or other persons,

and the Secretary is satisfied that the other person or other persons will become the owner or owners of the land or dwelling-house, the other person or other persons shall, for the purposes of this Act, other than sections 25 and 26, be deemed to be the owner or owners of the land or dwelling-house or to have entered into the contract for the purchase of the land or dwelling-house, as the case may be.

(2) Where—

(a) an owner of land who holds the land in trust for another person or other persons has entered into a contract for the construction by a building-contractor of a dwelling-house on the land; or

(b) a person has, at the request of another person or other persons, entered into a contract, otherwise than as an agent of the other person or other persons, for the construction by a building-contractor of a dwelling-house on land owned by the other person or other persons,

the other person or other persons, as the case may be, shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to have entered into the contract.

(3) Section 11 has effect in relation to paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) and (2)(a) of this section as if there were omitted from sub-sections 11(1) and (2) the words “, otherwise than as a trustee or trustees,” (wherever occurring).

(4) For the purposes of this Act, where, on any date—

(a) a person holds any moneys in trust for another person or other persons (in this sub-section referred to as the “relevant person” or “relevant persons”); and

(b) the moneys are not held jointly with other moneys, other than moneys held in trust for a person who, on that date, is the spouse of the relevant person or of any of the relevant persons,

the moneys shall be deemed to be held by the relevant person or relevant persons in the same form as that in which they are held by the trustee, and any such moneys that have been paid or expended for any purpose by the trustee shall be deemed to have been paid or expended for that purpose by the relevant person or relevant persons.

PART III—GRANTS OF ASSISTANCE

Division 1—Eligibility for, and Making of, Grants

Eligible persons.

15. (1) Where, on or after 1 January 1977, a person (in this sub-section referred to as the “home acquirer”) has, or 2 or more persons (in this sub-section referred to as the “home acquirers”) together have—

(a) entered into a contract for the purchase of a dwelling-house situated in Australia;

(b) entered into a contract for the construction by a building-contractor of a dwelling-house on land situated in Australia, being land that is, or that the Secretary is satisfied will be, owned—

(i) by the home acquirer or by any of the home acquirers, as the case may be;

(ii) by a person who, on the date of the contract, was the spouse of the home acquirer or of any of the home acquirers, as the case may be; or

(iii) jointly by 2 or more persons, each of whom is a person to whom sub-paragraph (i) or (ii) applies,

other than a dwelling-house the construction of which was commenced before 1 January 1977; or

(c) commenced the construction, otherwise than through a building-contractor, of a dwelling-house on land situated in Australia, being land that is, or that the Secretary is satisfied will be, owned—

(i) by the home acquirer or by any of the home acquirers, as the case may be;

(ii) by a person who, on the date on which the construction commenced, was the spouse of the home acquirer or of any of the home acquirers, as the case may be; or

(iii) jointly by 2 or more persons, each of whom is a person to whom sub-paragraph (i) or (ii) applies,

then, subject to sub-section (5), the home acquirer or each of the home acquirers, as the case may be, and any person who, on the date of the contract, or the date on which construction commenced, as the case may be, was the spouse of the home acquirer or of any of the home acquirers, as the case may be, is, for the purposes of this Act, a prescribed person in relation to the dwelling-house.

(2) Where—

(a) a person is a prescribed person in relation to a dwelling-house;

(b) on the date that, under sub-section (7), is the relevant date, the prescribed person—

(i) has attained the age of 18 years; or

(ii) is married or engaged to be married;

(c) on that date, the prescribed person—

(i) is an Australian citizen; or

(ii) is a person resident in Australia whose continued presence in Australia is not subject to any limitation as to time imposed by law;

(d) subject to sub-section (4), a grant under the Homes Savings Grant Act 1964 has not been made to the prescribed person, either alone or jointly with another person; and

(e) subject to sub-section (4), a grant under this Act has not been made to the prescribed person, either alone or jointly with another person or other persons,

the prescribed person is, for the purposes of this Act, an eligible person in relation to the dwelling-house.


 

(3) Where—

(a) on the date on which a person entered into a contract or commenced construction of a dwelling-house as mentioned in sub-section (1) the person was engaged to be married to another person; and

(b) the Secretary is satisfied that the other person has consented to being treated as the spouse of the first-mentioned person for the purposes of this section,

a reference in this section to a person who, on the date of the contract or on the date on which construction commenced, as the case may be, was the spouse of the first-mentioned person shall be read as including a reference to that other person.

(4) For the purposes of paragraphs (2)(d) and (e), a grant under the Homes Savings Grant Act 1964 or under this Act shall be deemed not to have been made to a person, or to persons jointly if, in pursuance of the Homes Savings Grant Act 1964 or of this Act, as the case may be, the grant has been repaid to the Commonwealth or the Commonwealth has recovered the grant.

(5) Where the Secretary is satisfied that a person who, either alone or together with another person or other persons, has entered into a contract for the purchase or construction of a dwelling-house as mentioned in paragraph (1)(a) or (b) does not intend to reside in the dwelling-house within a reasonable time after the relevant date, the Secretary may, in his discretion, direct that the person is not a prescribed person in relation to the dwelling-house for the purposes of this Act.

(6) For the purposes of this section—

(a) the date of a contract referred to in paragraph (1)(a) is—

(i) if the contract was in writing—the date of the making of the contract; or

(ii) if the contract was not in writing—such date as the Secretary determines; and

(b) the date of a contract referred to in paragraph (1)(b) is—

(i) if the contract was in writing—the date of the making of the contract or the date on which the construction of the dwelling-house commenced, whichever is the earlier; or

(ii) if the contract was not in writing—such date as the Secretary determines.

(7) In this section, “relevant date” means—

(a) in relation to a person who is a prescribed person by reason of the entering into by that person or by another person of a contract of the kind mentioned in paragraph (1)(a) or (b)—the date of the contract; and

(b) in relation to a person who is a prescribed person by reason of the commencement of the construction of a dwelling-house by that person or by another person as mentioned in paragraph (1)(c)—the date on which the construction commenced.

Applications for grants.

16. (1) Where the person, or each of the persons, who is a prescribed person in relation to a dwelling-house is an eligible person in relation to the dwelling-house, an application for a grant in respect of the dwelling-house may be made in accordance with this section.

(2) An application for a grant in respect of a dwelling-house—

(a) shall be in writing in accordance with a form made available by the Secretary;

(b) subject to sub-section (3), shall be signed by the person who is, or by each person who is, an eligible person in relation to the dwelling-house; and

(c) shall be furnished to the Regional Director for the State or Territory in which the dwelling-house is, or is to be, situated.

(3) Where—

(a) an application that is required to be signed by 2 or more persons has been signed by one or more, but not by all, of those persons; and

(b) the Secretary is satisfied, in respect of each person by whom the application was not signed as mentioned in paragraph (a), that it was not signed by the person by reason that—

(i) the person was unable to sign the application because of physical or mental incapacity, absence or any other reason that the Secretary considers sufficient;

(ii) the person refused to sign the application;

(iii) the whereabouts of the person were not known; or

(iv) the person has died,

the Secretary may, if he considers that the person should be treated as an applicant, direct that the person is to be deemed to have signed the application.

(4) An applicant for a grant shall furnish to the Regional Director to whom the application for the grant is furnished such declarations and other documents as the Secretary requires.

(5) The reference in paragraph (2)(c) to the State or Territory in which a dwelling-house is, or is to be, situated shall be read as a reference to—

(a) if the dwelling-house is, or is to be, situated in the Northern Territory and the Secretary has not appointed a Regional Director for that Territory—South Australia; and

(b) if the dwelling-house is, or is to be, situated in the city of Queanbeyan in New South Wales—the Australian Capital Territory.

Making of grants.

17. Subject to this Act, the Secretary may, in his discretion, make, on behalf of the Commonwealth, a grant of moneys in accordance with this Act in respect of a dwelling-house to the applicant or applicants, as the case may be, for the grant.

Grant not payable where applicant previously owned home.

18. (1) A grant in respect of a dwelling-house shall not be made to a sole applicant if the applicant has, or to joint applicants if any of the joint applicants has or have, before the prescribed date, (whether alone or together with another person or other persons)—

(a) owned another dwelling-house in Australia; or

(b) been a party to a contract, other than a contract that was discharged (otherwise than by performance of the contract) before the expiration of 3 months after it was entered into, for the purchase of another dwelling-house, being a contract that provided for payment of the purchase price or part of the purchase price by instalments.

(2) Sub-section (1) does not apply in relation to the ownership of a dwelling-house, or the entering into of a contract for the purchase of a dwelling-house, by a person or persons if the Secretary is satisfied that it would be unreasonable to regard that dwelling-house as, or as suitable for the purpose of constituting, the principal place of residence of the person or of those persons.

Grant not payable unless acceptable savings held and other conditions satisfied.

19. (1) A grant shall not be made to a sole applicant or to joint applicants unless the Secretary is satisfied that acceptable savings were held by the applicant or applicants, as the case may be, on the prescribed date and throughout the period of 1 year ending immediately before the prescribed date.

(2) A grant shall not be made in respect of a dwelling-house in relation to which paragraph 15(1)(c) applies unless the dwelling-house has been completed or the Secretary is satisfied that substantial progress on the construction has been made.

(3) A grant shall not be made in respect of a dwelling-house unless the Secretary is satisfied that the applicant has or will have, or the applicants have or will have, adequate financial resources (including resources obtained or to be obtained by borrowing) to perform in relation to the dwelling-house the contract referred to in paragraph 15(1)(a) or (b), or to complete the construction referred to in paragraph 15(1)(c), as the case may be.

(4) Sub-section (3) does not apply in relation to a contract for the purchase of a dwelling-house, being a contract that provides for the payment of the purchase price or part of the purchase price by instalments, if the Secretary is satisfied that it would be unreasonable for that sub-section to apply having regard to all the circumstances.

Division 2—Acceptable Savings

Acceptable savings.

20. For the purposes of this Act, the acceptable savings of a sole applicant or of joint applicants on a particular date are the moneys that, by virtue of any of the succeeding provisions of this Division, are included in the acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants on that date.


 

Acceptable savings of sole applicant to include bank deposits, &c.

21. (1) For the purposes of this Act, the acceptable savings of a sole applicant on a particular date (in this section referred to as the “relevant date”) include moneys, other than borrowed moneys—

(a) that were maintained on the relevant date by the applicant on deposit (other than on deposit in an account that may be drawn on by cheque) with a branch in Australia of a savings bank, on fixed deposit with a branch in Australia of a trading bank, or on deposit with a building society or credit union; or

(b) that were paid before the relevant date by the applicant to a building society as subscriptions in respect of shares in the capital of the society (not being shares quoted for sale or purchase on a Stock Exchange) and were not repaid before that date.

(2) The reference in sub-section (1) to moneys maintained on deposit on the relevant date by the applicant as mentioned in paragraph (1)(a), or paid before the relevant date by the applicant as subscriptions for shares as mentioned in paragraph (1)(b), shall be read as including a reference to one-half of any moneys so maintained on deposit or paid by the applicant jointly with another person, being—

(a) a person to whom the applicant was legally married on the prescribed date and to whom a direction under sub-section 6(2) applies; or

(b) a person (not being a deceased spouse of the applicant) who was the spouse of the applicant on the relevant date.

(3) In this section, “borrowed moneys” means—

(a) in relation to moneys maintained on deposit, or paid, by the applicant—moneys borrowed by the applicant; and

(b) in relation to moneys maintained on deposit, or paid, jointly by the applicant and another person as mentioned in sub-section (2)—moneys borrowed by the applicant, by that other person or by both of them.

Acceptable savings of joint applicants to include bank deposits, &c.

22. (1) For the purposes of this Act, the acceptable savings of joint applicants on a particular date (in this section referred to as the “relevant date”) include moneys, other than borrowed moneys—

(a) that were maintained on the relevant date by any of the applicants, or jointly by 2 or more of the applicants, on deposit (other than on deposit in an account that may be drawn on by cheque) with a branch in Australia of a savings bank, on fixed deposit with a branch in Australia of a trading bank, or on deposit with a building society or credit union; or

(b) that were paid before the relevant date by any of the applicants, or jointly by 2 or more of the applicants, to a building society as subscriptions in respect of shares in the capital of the society (not being shares quoted for sale or purchase on a Stock Exchange) and were not repaid before that date.

(2) The reference in sub-section (1) to moneys maintained on deposit on the relevant date by a joint applicant as mentioned in paragraph (1)(a), or paid before the relevant date by a joint applicant as subscriptions for shares as mentioned in paragraph (1)(b), shall be read as including a reference to one-half of any moneys so maintained on deposit or paid by that joint applicant jointly with another person (not being another joint applicant), being—

(a) a person to whom that joint applicant was legally married on the prescribed date and to whom a direction under sub-section 6(2) applies; or

(b) a person (not being a deceased spouse of the joint applicant) who was the spouse of that joint applicant on the relevant date.

(3) In this section, “borrowed moneys” means—

(a) in relation to moneys maintained on deposit, or paid, by any joint applicant or jointly by 2 or more joint applicants—moneys borrowed by any of the joint applicants; and

(b) in relation to moneys maintained on deposit, or paid, by a joint applicant jointly with another person as mentioned in sub-section (2)—moneys borrowed by the joint applicant, by that other person or by both of them.


 

Acceptable savings of sole applicant to include certain moneys expended in connexion with purchase or construction of dwelling-house.

23. (1) For the purpose of determining the acceptable savings on a particular date (in this section referred to as the “relevant date”) of a sole applicant who has made an application for a grant in respect of a dwelling-house, where any moneys, other than borrowed moneys, were expended on or before the relevant date by the applicant in connexion with the purchase or construction of the dwelling-house, the Secretary—

(a) shall treat the acceptable savings of the sole applicant on the relevant date as including so much of those moneys as were expended—

(i) in the payment of the whole or a part of the purchase price of the land on which the dwelling-house has been constructed or commenced to be constructed;

(ii) in the payment of a deposit in respect of the purchase or construction of the dwelling-house; or

(iii) in the purchase of materials to be used in the construction of the dwelling-house; and

(b) may treat the acceptable savings of the sole applicant on the relevant date as including the whole or any part of the remainder of those moneys.

(2) The reference in sub-section (1) to moneys expended by the applicant on or before the relevant date as mentioned in that sub-section shall be read as including a reference to one-half of any moneys so expended by the applicant jointly with another person, being—

(a) a person to whom the applicant was legally married on the prescribed date and to whom a direction under sub-section 6 (2) applies; or

(b) a person (not being a deceased spouse of the applicant) who was the spouse of the applicant on the relevant date.

(3) In this section, “borrowed moneys” means—

(a) in relation to moneys expended by the sole applicant—moneys borrowed by the sole applicant; and

(b) in relation to moneys expended by the sole applicant jointly with another person as mentioned in sub-section (2)—moneys borrowed by the sole applicant, by that other person or by both of them.

Acceptable savings of joint applicants to include certain moneys expended in connexion with purchase or construction of dwelling-house.

24. (1) For the purpose of determining the acceptable savings on a particular date (in this section referred to as the “relevant date”) of joint applicants who have made an application for a grant in respect of a dwelling-house, where any moneys, other than borrowed moneys, were expended on or before the relevant date by any of the joint applicants, or jointly by 2 or more of the joint applicants, in connexion with the purchase or construction of the dwelling-house, the Secretary—

(a) shall treat the acceptable savings of the joint applicants on the relevant date as including so much of those moneys as were expended—

(i) in the payment of the whole or a part of the purchase price of the land on which the dwelling-house has been constructed or commenced to be constructed;

(ii) in the payment of a deposit in respect of the purchase or construction of the dwelling-house; or

(iii) in the purchase of materials to be used in the construction of the dwelling-house; and

(b) may treat the acceptable savings of the joint applicants on the relevant date as including the whole or any part of the remainder of those moneys.

(2) The reference in sub-section (1) to moneys expended by a joint applicant on or before the relevant date as mentioned in that sub-section shall be read as including a reference to one-half of any moneys so expended by that joint applicant jointly with another person (not being a joint applicant), being—

(a) a person to whom the joint applicant was legally married on the prescribed date and to whom a direction under sub-section 6 (2) applies; or

(b) a person (not being a deceased spouse of the applicant) who was the spouse of the joint applicant on the relevant date.

(3) In this section, “borrowed moneys” means—

(a) in relation to moneys expended by any joint applicant or jointly by 2 or more joint applicants—moneys borrowed by any of the joint applicants; and

(b) in relation to moneys expended by a joint applicant jointly with another person as mentioned in sub-section (2)—moneys borrowed by the joint applicant, by that other person or by both of them.

Acceptable savings of sole applicant to include certain moneys expended in purchase of certain residential land.

25. (1) For the purpose of determining the acceptable savings of a sole applicant on a particular date (in this section referred to as the “relevant date”), where moneys, other than borrowed moneys, were expended by the applicant before the relevant date in payment of the whole or a part of the purchase price in respect of the purchase by the applicant of land that could, on the date on which the moneys were expended, lawfully be used for residential purposes and is not land on which there has been, is being or is to be, constructed a dwelling-house in respect of which an application for a grant has been made by the applicant and—

(a) the applicant has, before the expiration of 6 months after the prescribed date, become entitled to receive a refund of the whole or a part of the moneys expended but had not, before the relevant date, received the whole of that refund; or

(b) the applicant has, before the expiration of 6 months after the prescribed date, entered into a contract for the sale of the land, but had not, before the relevant date, received the whole of the moneys that were payable to the applicant in respect of the sale,

the Secretary may, having regard to the area and the number of separate parcels of the land and the amount (if any) received by the applicant before the relevant date as a refund of the moneys expended or in respect of the sale of the land, treat the acceptable savings of the applicant on the relevant date as having included the whole, or such part as the Secretary considers reasonable, of the moneys expended.

(2) In sub-section (1)—

(a) the reference to moneys expended by the applicant before the relevant date shall be read as including a reference to one-half of any moneys expended by the applicant jointly with another person being—

(i) a person to whom the applicant was legally married on the prescribed date and to whom a direction under sub-section 6(2) applies; or

(ii) a person (not being a deceased spouse of the applicant) who was the spouse of the applicant on the relevant date;

(b) the reference to the purchase of land by the applicant shall be read as including a reference to the purchase of land by the applicant and that other person jointly;

(c) the reference to the entering into by the applicant of a contract for the sale of land shall be read as including a reference to the entering into of such a contract by the applicant and that other person jointly; and

(d) the reference to moneys received by the applicant as a refund shall be read as including a reference to one-half of any moneys received as a refund by the applicant and the other person jointly.

(3) In this section, “borrowed moneys” means—

(a) in relation to moneys expended by the sole applicant—moneys borrowed by the sole applicant; and

(b) in relation to moneys expended by the sole applicant jointly with another person as mentioned in sub-section (2)—moneys borrowed by the sole applicant, by that other person or by both of them.

(4) A reference in this section to the purchase or sale by a person of land shall be read as a reference to the purchase or a sale, as the case may be, of an estate or interest in the land by the person (otherwise than as a trustee) or by another person as trustee for the first-mentioned person.


 

Acceptable savings of joint applicants to include certain moneys expended in purchase of certain residential land.

26. (1) For the purpose of determining the acceptable savings of joint applicants on a particular date (in this section referred to as the “relevant date”), where moneys, other than borrowed moneys, were expended before the relevant date by any of the joint applicants, or jointly by 2 or more of the joint applicants, in payment of the whole or a part of the purchase price in respect of the purchase by any of the joint applicants, or jointly by 2 or more of the joint applicants, of land that could, on the date on which the moneys were expended, lawfully be used for residential purposes and is not land on which there has been, is being or is to be, constructed a dwelling-house in respect of which an application for a grant has been made by the applicants and—

(a) any of the joint applicants has, or 2 or more of the joint applicants have, before the expiration of 6 months after the prescribed date, become entitled to receive a refund of the whole or a part of the moneys expended but had not, before the relevant date, received the whole of that refund; or

(b) any of the joint applicants has, or 2 or more of the joint applicants have, before the expiration of 6 months after the prescribed date, entered into a contract for the sale of the land, but had not, before the relevant date, received the whole of the moneys that were payable in respect of the sale,

the Secretary may, having regard to the area and the number of separate parcels of the land and the amount (if any) received by the joint applicant or joint applicants before the relevant date as a refund of the moneys expended or in respect of the sale of the land, treat the acceptable savings of the joint applicants on the relevant date as having included the whole, or such part as the Secretary considers reasonable, of the moneys expended.

(2) In sub-section (1)—

(a) the reference to moneys expended by a joint applicant before the relevant date shall be read as including a reference to one-half of any moneys expended by that joint applicant jointly with another person (not being a joint applicant) being—

(i) a person to whom the joint applicant was legally married on the prescribed date and to whom a direction under sub-section 6(2) applies; or

(ii) a person (not being a deceased spouse of the joint applicant) who was the spouse of the joint applicant on the relevant date;

(b) the reference to the purchase of land by the joint applicant shall be read as including a reference to the purchase of land by the joint applicant and that other person jointly;

(c) the reference to the entering into by the joint applicant of a contract for the sale of land shall be read as including a reference to the entering into of such a contract by the joint applicant and that other person jointly; and

(d) the reference to moneys received by the joint applicant as a refund shall be read as including a reference to one-half of any moneys received as a refund by the joint applicant and the other person jointly.

(3) In this section, “borrowed moneys” means—

(a) in relation to moneys expended by any joint applicant or jointly by 2 or more joint applicants—moneys borrowed by any of the joint applicants; and

(b) in relation to moneys expended by a joint applicant jointly with another person as mentioned in sub-section (2)—moneys borrowed by the joint applicant, by that other person or by both of them.

(4) A reference in this section to the purchase or sale by a person or persons of land shall be read as a reference to the purchase or a sale, as the case may be, of an estate or interest in the land by the person or persons (otherwise than as a trustee or trustees) or by another person as trustee for the first-mentioned person or persons.

Moneys held outside Australia by members of Defence Force, &c.

27. (1) This section applies to a person in relation to a date if, on that date—

(a) the person was serving outside Australia as a member of the Defence Force; or

(b) the person was the spouse, or a child under the age of 21 years, of a person mentioned in paragraph (a).

(2) For the purposes of this Act, the acceptable savings of a sole applicant on a date on which the applicant was a person to whom this section applies, include moneys, other than borrowed moneys, that were held on that date outside Australia by the applicant (or by the applicant jointly with a person who was, on that date, the spouse of the applicant) in a form approved by the Secretary.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, the acceptable savings of joint applicants on a date on which any of the joint applicants was a person to whom this section applies include moneys, other than borrowed moneys, that were held on that date outside Australia by the joint applicant (or by the joint applicant jointly with a person who was, on that date, the spouse of the joint applicant) in a form approved by the Secretary.

(4) In the application of sub-section (3) in relation to a joint applicant to whom this section applies, the reference in that sub-section to moneys held on a date by that joint applicant and a person who was the spouse of the joint applicant on that date shall, if the spouse is also a joint applicant in respect of the same application, be read as a reference to one-half only of the moneys so held jointly.

(5) In this section, “borrowed moneys” means—

(a) in relation to moneys held by an applicant—moneys borrowed by the applicant; and

(b) in relation to moneys held jointly by an applicant and the spouse of the applicant—moneys borrowed by the applicant, by the spouse of the applicant or by both of them.

Power of Secretary to treat person as having continued to hold acceptable savings in certain circumstances.

28. Where, during a period of not more than 30 days, a sole applicant or joint applicants did not hold acceptable savings, or the acceptable savings of a sole applicant or of joint applicants were less than they would otherwise have been, by reason of the transfer of moneys from one place to another place or from one form of savings into another form or for any other reason, the Secretary may, in his discretion, treat the sole applicant, or the joint applicants, as the case may be, as having held throughout that period acceptable savings equal to—

(a) the acceptable savings that the sole applicant or joint applicants held immediately before the commencement of that period; or

(b) the acceptable savings that the sole applicant or joint applicants held immediately after the expiration of that period,

whichever is the less.

Moneys held by deceased spouse.

29. For the purposes of this Act—

(a) moneys held, paid or expended, on any date by an applicant jointly with a deceased spouse of the applicant, shall be deemed to have been held, paid or expended, as the case may be, on that date by the applicant alone;

(b) moneys held on any date by a deceased spouse of an applicant shall be deemed to have been held on that date by the applicant;

(c) where moneys that were held by a deceased spouse of an applicant on the date of death of the deceased spouse are, by reason of paragraph (b), to be deemed to have been held on that date by the applicant, the Secretary may treat those moneys as having continued, in whole or in part, to be held by the applicant for such period after that date as the Secretary thinks reasonable and as having continued to be so held in the same form as the form in which the moneys were held by the deceased spouse of the applicant on that date;

(d) moneys paid or expended on any date by a deceased spouse of an applicant shall be deemed to have been paid or expended, as the case may be, on that date by the applicant alone; and

(e) moneys borrowed by a deceased spouse of an applicant shall be deemed to have been borrowed by the applicant.


 

Power of Secretary to treat moneys as paid or expended.

30. Where the Secretary is satisfied that—

(a) a person has done an act or thing for the purpose of effecting the payment or expenditure of moneys by the person; and

(b) after the doing of that act or thing, the moneys have been so paid or expended,

the Secretary may, for the purposes of this Act, treat the moneys as having been paid or expended on the date on which the act or thing was done.

Division 3—Amount of Grant

Maximum amount of grant.

31. (1) The amount of a grant to a sole applicant or to joint applicants shall not exceed—

(a) one-third of the accumulated acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants; or

(b) an amount of—

(i) where the relevant savings period in relation to the applicant or applicants is not less than 1 year but is less than 2 years—$667;

(ii) where the relevant savings period in relation to the applicant or applicants is not less than 2 years but is less than 3 years—$1,333; or

(iii) where the relevant savings period in relation to the applicant or applicants is not less than 3 years—$2,000,

whichever is the less.

(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the amount of the accumulated acceptable savings of a sole applicant or of joint applicants is the amount ascertained by deducting from the sum of—

(a) the acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants on the first relevant savings date; and

(b) the sum of any adjusted increases in the acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants as ascertained as at the relevant savings dates occurring after the first relevant savings date,

the sum of the amounts of any adjusted decreases in acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants as ascertained as at the relevant savings dates occurring after the first relevant savings date.

(3) In this section, “first relevant savings date”, in relation to a sole applicant or joint applicants, means—

(a) in the case of an applicant or applicants whose relevant savings period is not less than 1 year but is less than 2 years—the first day of the period of 1 year ending immediately before the prescribed date;

(b) in the case of an applicant or applicants whose relevant savings period is not less than 2 years but is less than 3 years—the first day of the period of 2 years ending immediately before the prescribed date; and

(c) in the case of an applicant or applicants whose relevant savings period is not less than 3 years—the first day of the period of 3 years ending immediately before the prescribed date.

(4) For the purposes of the application of this section in relation to a sole applicant or joint applicants, the following dates are the relevant savings dates occurring after the first relevant savings date:—

(a) in the case of an applicant or applicants whose relevant savings period is not less than 3 years—

(i) the prescribed date;

(ii) the first day of the period of 6 months ending immediately before the prescribed date;

(iii) the first day of the period of 12 months ending immediately before the prescribed date;

(iv) the first day of the period of 18 months ending immediately before the prescribed date;

(v) the first day of the period of 24 months ending immediately before the prescribed date; and

(vi) the first day of the period of 30 months ending immediately before the prescribed date;

(b) in the case of an applicant or applicants whose relevant savings period is not less than 2 years but is less than 3 years—

(i) the prescribed date;

(ii) the first day of the period of 6 months ending immediately before the prescribed date;

(iii) the first day of the period of 12 months ending immediately before the prescribed date; and

(iv) the first day of the period of 18 months ending immediately before the prescribed date;

(c) in the case of an applicant or applicants whose relevant savings period is less than 2 years—

(i) the prescribed date; and

(ii) the first day of the period of 6 months ending immediately before the prescribed date.

(5) Where a relevant savings date in a particular month is not capable of being ascertained in accordance with sub-section (4) by reason that there is not a date in that month that corresponds with the prescribed date, the relevant savings date in that month shall be taken to be the last day of that month.

(6) For the purposes of this section—

(a) an increase in acceptable savings of a sole applicant or joint applicants shall be taken to occur on a relevant savings date if the acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants on that relevant savings date exceed the acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants on the immediately preceding relevant savings date; and

(b) the amount of the increase in acceptable savings is the amount of that excess.

(7) For the purposes of this section—

(a) a decrease in acceptable savings of a sole applicant or joint applicants shall be taken to occur on a relevant savings date if the acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants on that relevant savings date are less than the acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants on the immediately preceding relevant savings date; and

(b) the amount of the decrease is the amount by which the acceptable savings on the first-mentioned relevant savings date are less than the acceptable savings on that immediately preceding relevant savings date.

(8) A reference in this section to an adjusted increase in acceptable savings of a sole applicant or of joint applicants as ascertained as at a relevant savings date shall be read as a reference to an increase in acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants on that relevant savings date reduced, if excess savings of the applicant or applicants occurred on that relevant savings date, by the amount of those excess savings.

(9) A reference in this section to an adjusted decrease in acceptable savings of a sole applicant or of joint applicants as ascertained as at a relevant savings date shall be read as a reference to a decrease in acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants on that relevant savings date reduced, if there are unused excess savings of the applicant or applicants on that relevant savings date, by so much of those unused excess savings as does not exceed the decrease in acceptable savings.

(10) For the purposes of this section—

(a) a sole applicant or joint applicants shall be taken to have excess savings on a relevant savings date if the increase in acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants on that relevant savings date exceeds $1,200; and

(b) the amount of the excess savings is the amount by which that increase exceeds $1,200.

(11) A reference in this section to unused excess savings of a sole applicant or of joint applicants on a relevant savings date shall be read as a reference to excess savings of the applicant or applicants on any preceding relevant savings dates that are not required by sub-section (9) to be taken into account in ascertaining adjusted decreases in acceptable savings of the applicant or applicants as at any of those preceding relevant savings dates.


 

(12) Where an application for a grant has been made by an applicant or applicants, or any documents furnished by an applicant or applicants have been prepared, on the basis that the prescribed date in relation to the applicant or applicants is a date (in this sub-section referred to as the “assumed date”) that is earlier or later, but not more than 14 days earlier or later, than the date that is the prescribed date in relation to the applicant or applicants, the Secretary may, in his discretion, direct that this section shall apply in relation to the applicant or applicants as if the references in sub-sections (3), (4) and (5) to the prescribed date were references to the assumed date.

(13) Where, by reason of acceptable savings being held by joint applicants on a particular date, the amount of a grant to the applicants would be less than it would be if acceptable savings were not held by the applicants on that date, the Secretary may, in his discretion, treat the applicants as not having held those acceptable savings on that date.

Grant of less than $10 not to be made.

32. Where the maximum amount of a grant to a sole applicant or joint applicants as ascertained in accordance with section 31 is less than $10, a grant shall not be made to the applicant or applicants.

Grant to be made to nearest dollar.

33. Where, but for this section, the maximum amount of a grant payable to a sole applicant or jointly to joint applicants is an amount that is not a multiple of $1, the maximum amount of the grant payable is the nearest amount that is a multiple of $1, except where the first-mentioned amount is equally near to 2 amounts that are multiples of $1, in which case, the maximum amount of the grant payable is the next higher amount that is a multiple of $1.

PART IV—ADMINISTRATION

Administration.

34. The Secretary has, subject to any directions of the Minister, the general administration of this Act.

Regional Directors.

35. (1) For the purposes of this Act, the Secretary—

(a) shall, in respect of each State, appoint an officer of the Department to be the Regional Director for that State;

(b) shall, in respect of the Australian Capital Territory, appoint an officer of the Department to be the Regional Director for that Territory; and

(c) may, in respect of the Northern Territory, appoint an officer of the Department to be the Regional Director for that Territory.

(2) An appointment under this section may be an appointment of—

(a) a specified officer of the Department; or

(b) every officer of the Department from time to time holding, or performing the duties of, a specified office in the Department.

(3) Until the appointment of an officer of the Department to be the Regional Director for the Northern Territory, that Territory shall, for the purposes of sub-section (1), be deemed to be part of South Australia.

Delegation.

36. (1) The Secretary may, either generally or as otherwise provided by the instrument of delegation, by writing signed by him, delegate to an officer of the Department any of his powers under this Act, other than this power of delegation.

(2) A power so delegated, when exercised by the delegate, shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to have been exercised by the Secretary.

(3) A delegation under this section does not prevent the exercise of a power by the Secretary.

Interpretation.

37. In sections 38, 39 and 40, a reference to a decision of the Secretary shall be read as a reference to a determination, direction, decision or approval of the Secretary, or of a delegate of the Secretary, under this Act.

Review of decisions.

38. Where it appears to the Secretary that sufficient reason exists for reviewing a decision of the Secretary, the Secretary may review the decision and may affirm, revoke or vary it.

Reconsideration by Secretary.

39. (1) A person affected by a decision of the Secretary may, within such time (if any) as is prescribed, request the Secretary to reconsider the decision.

(2) Upon receipt of the request, the Secretary shall reconsider the decision, and may affirm, revoke or vary it.

Appeals to Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

40. A person affected by a decision of the Secretary, being a decision that has been affirmed or varied under section 39, may make application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the decision.

Officers to observe secrecy.

41. (1) A person shall, if the Minister or the Secretary so directs, before entering upon his duties, or exercising any powers or performing any functions, under this Act, make before a Justice of the Peace or a Commissioner for Declarations a declaration in accordance with the prescribed form.

(2) A person shall not, directly or indirectly, except in the exercise of his powers, or the performance of his duties or functions, under this Act, and while he is, or after he ceases to be, an officer, make a record of, or divulge or communicate to any person, any information with respect to the affairs of another person acquired by him in the exercise of his powers, or the performance of his duties or functions, under this Act.

(3) A person who is, or has been, an officer shall not, except for the purposes of this Act, be required—

(a) to produce to a court any document that has come into his possession or under his control in the exercise of his powers, or the performance of his duties or functions, under this Act; or

(b) to divulge or communicate to a court any matter or thing that has come under his notice in the performance of any such duties or functions.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the preceding provisions of this section, an officer may—

(a) if the Minister or the Secretary certifies that it is necessary in the public interest that any information acquired by the officer in the exercise of his powers, or the performance of his duties or functions, under this Act should be divulged, divulge that information to such person as the Minister or the Secretary directs;

(b) divulge any such information to any authority or person prescribed by the regulations; or

(c) divulge any such information to a person who, in the opinion of the Secretary, is expressly or impliedly authorized by the person to whom the information relates to obtain it.

(5) An authority or person to whom information is divulged under sub-section (4), and any person or employee under the control of that authority or person, is, in respect of that information, entitled to rights and privileges, and subject to obligations and liabilities, under sub-sections (2) and (3) as if he were a person performing duties under this Act and had acquired the information in the performance of those duties.

(6) In this section—

“court” includes a tribunal, authority or person having power to require the production of documents or the answering of questions;

“produce” includes permit access to, and “production” has a corresponding meaning.

Penalty: $500.

Information as to applicants.

42. (1) Where the Secretary or a Regional Director has reason to believe that a person is in possession of any information in relation to any matter that might affect the payment of a grant to any other person, he may, by notice in writing served by post on the first-mentioned person at the address of the person last known to the Secretary or Regional Director, as the case may be, require the person to furnish to him a confidential report relating to that matter within 14 days after the notice is served.

(2) A person on whom a notice is so served shall not, without lawful excuse, refuse or fail to comply with the notice and shall not furnish a report as required by the notice that, to his knowledge, is false or misleading in a material particular.

Penalty: $100.

(3) The Secretary or a Regional Director shall not exercise his powers under sub-section (1) except with the approval of the Minister.

Powers as to taking of evidence and production of documents.

43. (1) The Secretary or a Regional Director may, for the purposes of this Act—

(a) summon witnesses;

(b) receive evidence on oath or affirmation; and

(c) require the production of documents.

(2) A person who has been summoned to appear before the Secretary or a Regional Director shall not, without lawful excuse, after tender of reasonable expenses, fail to appear in obedience to the summons.

(3) A person, whether summoned or not, who appears before the Secretary or a Regional Director shall not, without lawful excuse—

(a) refuse to be sworn as a witness or to make an affirmation;

(b) fail to answer any question that he is lawfully required to answer; or

(c) fail to produce any document that he is lawfully required to produce.

Penalty: $100.

(4) The Secretary or a Regional Director shall not exercise his powers under paragraph (1)(a) or (c) except with the approval of the Minister.

Indemnity to certain persons.

44. Nothing contained in any law of a State or internal Territory operates so as to prevent a person from furnishing any information, or making any books, documents or papers available, to the Secretary or to an officer for the purposes of this Act.

PART V—MISCELLANEOUS

Payment of grants.

45. (1) A grant to a sole applicant or to joint applicants shall be paid at such time as the Secretary determines.

(2) A grant to a sole applicant shall be paid to the applicant or, if the applicant so requests in writing and the Secretary approves, to another person nominated by the applicant.

(3) Subject to sub-sections (4) and (5) and to section 46, a grant to joint applications shall be paid to the joint applicants or, if the joint applicants so request in writing and the Secretary approves, to a person or persons nominated by the joint applicants.

(4) Where a joint applicant has died before the payment of a grant, sub-section (3) applies in relation to the payment of the grant as if the reference in that sub-section to the joint applicants did not include a reference to the deceased joint applicant.

(5) Where, for any reason, the Secretary considers that it is not practicable to pay a grant to all the joint applicants in respect of an application, he may pay the grant to such of those joint applicants as he considers appropriate.

(6) A grant paid in accordance with a request under sub-section (2) to a person other than the sole applicant, or paid under sub-section (3) or (5), or under sub-section 46(1), otherwise than to all the joint applicants in respect of an application shall, for the purpose of this Act, be deemed to have been paid to the sole applicant, or to all the joint applicants (other than to a joint applicant who is a non-signing applicant referred to in sub-section 46(1) and in respect of whom the Secretary has not directed payment of an amount under sub-section 46(2)), as the case may be.

(7) A grant under this Act shall not be paid to a person who is an undischarged bankrupt, and where a joint applicant is an undischarged bankrupt, sub-section (3) applies in relation to the payment of the grant as if the reference in that sub-section to the joint applicants did not include a reference to the bankrupt joint applicant.

Payment where application not signed by spouse.

46. (1) Where—

(a) in pursuance of sub-section 16(3) the Secretary has directed that a person (in this section referred to as the “non-signing applicant”) is to be deemed to have signed an application for a grant, being a person who refused to sign the application or whose whereabouts were unknown;

(b) on the prescribed date the non-signing applicant was the spouse of another applicant who signed the application; and

(c) the Secretary is satisfied that the non-signing applicant and that other applicant are living apart and have no intention of resuming co-habitation,

the Secretary may direct that payment be made to the applicant or applicants other than the non-signing applicant of the amount of the grant reduced by the amount (if any) by which the amount of the grant exceeds the amount that would have been the amount of the grant if, in determining the acceptable savings of the applicants as at any date, no regard were had to—

(d) moneys held, maintained on deposit or paid or expended by the non-signing applicant; and

(e) one-half of moneys held, maintained on deposit or paid or expended by the non-signing applicant jointly with another applicant.

(2) Where, under sub-section (1), the Secretary has directed the payment of an amount to the applicant or applicants other than the non-signing applicant of an amount that is less that the amount (in this sub-section referred to as the “full amount”) that, but for the direction, would have been payable to the applicants, the Secretary may direct the payment to the non-signing applicant of an amount not exceeding the amount by which the full amount exceeds the sum of—

(a) the amount paid in pursuance of sub-section (1); and

(b) the amount, or the sum of any amounts, previously paid under this sub-section to an applicant or applicants in respect of the same application.

Appropriation.

47. (1) Grants under this Act that are payable on or before 30 June 1977 are payable out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is appropriated accordingly.

(2) Grants under this Act that are payable after 30 June 1977 are payable out of moneys appropriated by the Parliament for the purposes of this Act.

Repayments of grants.

48. (1) This section applies where a grant has been paid in respect of a dwelling-house the purchase of which had not been completed, or the construction of which had not been completed, on the date on which the application for the grant was made.

(2) Where—

(a) in the case of a dwelling-house the purchase of which had not been completed on the date on which the application for the grant was made—

(i) the purchase of the dwelling-house is not completed within 3 months after the date specified in the application as the date on which it was expected that the purchase would be completed or, if no date was so specified, within 3 months after the date of payment of the grant; or

(ii) the contract for the purchase of the dwelling-house is discharged otherwise than by performance of the contract; or

(b) in the case of a dwelling-house the construction of which had not been completed on the date on which the application for the grant was made—

(i) the construction of the dwelling-house is not completed within 6 months after the date specified in the application for the grant as the date on which it was expected that the construction would be completed or, if no date was so specified, within 6 months after the date of payment of the grant;

(ii) if the dwelling-house was being, or was to be, constructed by a building-contractor—the contract for the construction of the dwelling-house is discharged otherwise than by performance of the contract; or

(iii) before the expiration of 12 months after the prescribed date, the applicant, in the case of a sole applicant, does not become the owner, or none of the applicants, in the case of joint applicants, becomes the owner, of the land on which the dwelling-house was being, or was to be, constructed,

the Secretary shall forthwith be notified in writing of the fact and if he is not so notified then the sole applicant, or each of the joint applicants, as the case may be, is guilty of an offence and is punishable, upon conviction, by a fine not exceeding $500.

(3) Upon the occurrence of any of the circumstances referred to in paragraph (2)(a) or (b), the Secretary may require the sole applicant or each of the joint applicants, as the case may be, by notice in writing served by post on the applicant, or each of the applicants, as the case may be, at the address of the applicant last known to the Secretary, to pay to the Commonwealth an amount equal to the amount of the grant and, in that case, the amount so payable is recoverable by the Commonwealth in a court of competent jurisdiction from the applicant, or jointly or severally from the applicants, as a debt due to the Commonwealth.

(4) The reference in sub-section (3) to each joint applicant shall be read as not including a reference to a joint applicant who has died.

(5) The Commonwealth is not, by virtue of sub-section (3), entitled to recover from the persons referred to in that sub-section amounts that, in the aggregate, exceed the total amount of the debt due to the Commonwealth.

Recovery of overpayments.

49. (1) Where an amount of a grant under this Act has been paid to a sole applicant in consequence of a false or misleading statement or representation made by the applicant or a failure or omission by the applicant to comply with a provision of this Act, an amount equal to the amount of the grant is a debt due to the Commonwealth by the applicant and may be recovered by the Commonwealth from the applicant in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(2) Where an amount of a grant under this Act has been paid to joint applicants in consequence of a false or misleading statement or representation made by any of the applicants or a failure or omission by any of the applicants to comply with a provision of this Act, an amount equal to the amount of the grant is a debt due to the Commonwealth by the applicants jointly and severally and may be recovered from those persons in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(3) The Commonwealth is not, by virtue of sub-section (2), entitled to recover from the persons referred to in that sub-section amounts that, in the aggregate, exceed the total amount of the debt due to the Commonwealth.

Misleading statements, &c.

50. (1) A person shall not—

(a) make, whether orally or in writing, a false or misleading statement—

(i) in connexion with, or in support of, an application for a grant under this Act; or

(ii) with intent to deceive an officer exercising powers, or performing duties or functions, in relation to this Act;

(b) obtain payment of a grant under this Act by means of a false or misleading statement or by means of impersonation or a fraudulent device; or

(c) make or present to an officer a statement or document that is false or misleading in a material particular.

Penalty: $500 or imprisonment for 6 months.

(2) Where a person is convicted of an offence against sub-section (1), the court may, in addition to imposing a penalty in respect of the offence, order him to pay to the Commonwealth an amount equal to the amount of any grant under this Act paid in consequence of the act, failure or omission in respect of which he was convicted.

Prosecutions for offences.

51. (1) Proceedings for an offence against this Act or the regulations may be commenced at any time within 3 years after the commission of the offence.


 

(2) Offences against this Act or the regulations shall not be prosecuted without the written consent of the Minister, the Secretary or a person authorized in writing by the Secretary to consent to prosecutions for such offences.

Evidence.

52. (1) All courts shall take judicial notice of the signature of any person who holds or has held the office of Secretary or Regional Director, and of the fact that that person holds or has held that office, if the signature purports to be attached or appended to any official document, and any such document purporting to be so signed is prima facie evidence in all courts of the facts and statements contained in the document.

(2) A certificate in writing signed by a person who holds or has held an office specified in sub-section (1) certifying—

(a) that a grant of a specified amount was paid to a specified person or to specified persons on a specified date; or

(b) that a specified amount is the amount of a grant paid to a specified person or to specified persons in consequence of a specified act, failure or omission,

is prima facie evidence in all courts of the matters certified.

Reports.

53. (1) The Secretary shall, as soon as practicable after each 30 June, furnish to the Minister, for presentation to each House of the Parliament, a report as to the administration and operation of this Act during the year that ended on that date.

(2) The Minister shall cause a copy of each report of the Secretary to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the receipt of the report by the Minister.

Regulations.

54. The Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing all matters required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act and, in particular, prescribing penalties not exceeding a fine of $100 for offences against the regulations.