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Defence housing again under threat.



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Media Release

LAURIE FERGUSON MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE SCIENCE AND PERSONNEL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FORESTRY AND CONSERVATION

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR REID

 

 

5 October 1999

DEFENCE HOUSING AGAIN UNDER THREAT

 

The Federal Opposition has today challenged th e Government to immediately clarify the future of the Defence Housing Authority.

 

Shadow Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Laurie Ferguson MP, has issued the challenge in response to reports that the Minister for Finance and Administration, John Fahey, wants to privatise the Authority as a cost-cuffing move following our Timor deployment.

 

‘As many as 22,000 Defence families live in houses managed by the Authority,’ Mr Ferguson said.

 

‘Prior to the last election the Coalition promised them that the Authority would remain in government ownership. The Opposition’s scepticism about this promise has been confirmed by reports of Budget options being considered by the Government.

 

‘If the Government is not contemplating privatisation, it should be able to immediately deny these reports. Failure to do so would be a complete breach of faith with serving men and women.

 

‘it is clear the Government fails to understand the true nature of the Authority’s role, which requires it to provide rental housing for Defence families wherever and whenever the Defence Force posts them.

 

‘The Authority has repeatedly pointed out that this requires it to acquire and retain properties in Defence-nominated locations without regard to market conditions. This means it is more than just another government business enterprise.

 

‘There are substantial concentrations of Defence housing in regional areas, with 1,817 DHA-managed dwellings in Townsville, 1,229 in the Hunter Valley, 950 in Ipswich, 602 in Katherine, 596 in Nowra, 566 in Wagga Wagga, 556 in Toowoomba and 408 in Wodonga. Any move towards privatisation would be a massive betrayal of these communities.’

 

 

 

 

al  1999-10-07  09:18