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Wednesday, 25 March 1987
Page: 1539

(Question No. 4927)

Mr Hodges asked the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, upon notice, on 20 November 1986:

(1) Has progress been made towards implementing the revised Home Ownership Assistance Scheme for future members of the Australian Defence Forces as referred to by the Treasurer in his statement made on 14 May 1985; if so,

(a) to what extent have plans been developed and

(b) when will the Government announce and implement the revised scheme.

(2) What sum has been spent on engaging consultants, including Doll Martin Associates and Partnership Pacific, to review the role, functions and performance of the Defence Service Homes Corporation since March 1983.

(3) Will the Minister provide the House with the results of the Partnership Pacific survey.

Mr Holding —The Minister for Veterans' Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) The Minister for Defence has advised that:

(a) The revised Home Ownership Assistance Scheme for members of the Australian Defence Force entering service after 14 May 1985 has been discussed between the Departments concerned with its development and a number of options have been identified. These options are now to be considered in detail.

(b) The Government will not be in a position to announce details of the scheme until the matter has been fully considered. It is expected that details will be resolved and the necessary steps taken for implementation this year.

(2) The Defence Service Homes Corporation paid Doll Martin Associates Pty Ltd $211,947 for consultancy services between February 1984 and September 1985. The Consultant advised the Corporation on the process of corporate planning, prepared a complete data model of the Corporation's information requirements, identified suitable ADP equipment for various operational options under consideration at the time and conducted a survey of ADP sites to formulate measures to extend the operating life of existing equipment.

Partnership Pacific Limited was not engaged by the Defence Service Homes Corporation: it was commissioned by the Government in June 1985 to survey private sector interest in, and to identify issues associated with, the intention to seek the involvement of financial institutions in the funding and management of the Defence Service Homes Scheme. The payments to Partnership Pacific Limited amounted to $61,454.

(3) The Minister for Finance has provided the following advice:

The Government is not in a position to release the July 1985 Partnership Pacific Limited report referred to for the following reasons:

(i) disclosure of the document would involve the disclosure of deliberations of the Cabinet which have not been officially published,

(ii) disclosure of the document would unreasonably affect organisations in respect of their lawful business, commercial or financial affairs,

(iii) disclosure of the document could reasonably be expected to prejudice the future supply of information to the Commonwealth, and

(iv) disclosure of the document would constitute a breach of confidence between the Commonwealth, the consultants and the persons and organisations consulted in the preparation of the report.