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Wednesday, 20 August 1980
Page: 560

Mr Neil asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 18 March 1980:

(1)   What proportion of accommodation now available to the Government for members of the Defence Force is currently unused?

(2)   Approximately how many men would this unused accommodation house at standards no worse that the worst presently in use?

(3)   What would be the cost of upgrading sufficient substandard accommodation to the point where an additional (a) 20,000, (b) 40,000, (c) 60,000 and (d) 70,000 personnel could be accommodated for a period not exceeding fifty days per annum at any one time?

Mr Killen - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The proportion of available living accommodation for members of the Defence Force which is unused varies from day to day. Working accommodation is generally fully utilised. There are units such as schools in which accommodation usage is governed by cyclic movement of personnel. At other units variations in usage occur through long term posting action, short term attachments, the changing ratio of married to single personnel, the number of single personnel living out or unit absences on training exercises.

(2)   Accommodation for 6,000 personnel is available for annual camps and weekend bivouacs for Army Reserve and Cadet units. The remaining unused living accommodation is too widely scattered and/or too infrequently available to be used for this purpose.

(3)   Should it become necessary to train an additional twenty thousand or more for up to fifty days per annum, either:

(a)   a lower standard of accommodation would have to be accepted, eg by increased use of tentage, or

(b)   more buildings would need to be provided.

The nature and cost of buildings would depend on a number of factors including purpose, location, design, construction time and durability.

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