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An opportunity missed with the sale of defence service home/caravan loan scheme



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JOINT PRESS -RELEASE 12TH OCTOBER, 1988.

MR. TIM FISCHER, MP. SHADOW MINISTER FOR VETERANS AFFAIRS

SENATOR JOCELYN NEWMAN, SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE SCIENCE & PERSONNEL

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AN OPPORTUNITY MISSED WITH THE SALE OF DEFENCE SERVICE HOME/CARAVAN LOAN SCHEME

"The Government's announcement yesterday of the proposed sale of loan portfolio and new lending activities of the Defence Service Homes Corporation is as welcome as it is late,"‘Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs Tim Fischer and Shadow Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Senator Jocelyn Newman said today.

"it has now been three years, five months since this proposal was announced by the Government. We agree with the general thrust of the sale, but are sure a Coalition Government would have handled the matter a good deal more expeditiously.”

"The announcement has ignored three important issues which have been known to the Government for some time".

"The first is in regard to the amount of the loan. $25,000 will only purchase a large caravan at today's prices, such has the value of the loan been eroded over the years".

"The loan amount was lifted to $25,000 by the Coalition Government in October 1980. Since then there has been an increase of 84% in the price of established dwellings in Sydney, 131% in Melbourne and 104% in Adelaide. The real value of the loan amount has obviously dropped enormously under a Government which says it is

concerned about the number of service personnel leaving the . It

services.

"The sale of the DSHL to Westpac was the perfect opportunity to increase substantially the amount of the loan in view of the fact that the Commonwealth will no longer be providing capital but only subsidising the interest paid on loans. What we are seeing is an economy drive which could have been implemented as a substantial improvement for Veterans and Service Personnel seeking home

loans."

"The second is in regard to the portability of loans taken out prior to 9 December, 1987. This issue has not been addressed despite the fact that service personnel continue to be posted about every two years and there is currently record resignation

rates within the services. Once again the Government has fobbed off service personnel."

.../more over

"The third relates to members of the Armed Services who enlisted after May 1985. These Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen continue to be totally ignored by the Hawke Labor Government. The Government has, therefore, created two classes of service personnel This is a disgraceful situation and one which will fester until the Government" takes action to maintain service conditions for this group who continue to be discriminated against."

Senator Newman added that she hoped the Government monitored carefully the operation of the revised scheme so that there was no deterioration in the standards of service or benefit available to Veterans and Service personnel.

12/10/88

For further information Contact:

Senator Jocelyn Newman (062) 77 3660

Mr. Tim Fischer (062) 77 4243