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Tuesday, 15 August 1989
Page: 73

(Question No. 1037)

Senator Newman asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, upon notice, on 31 May 1989:

(1) When are new permanent service scales and standards of accommodation expected to be formulated for defence housing to replace the 1972 scales and standards still in use, and the 1982 interim scales and standards for low density houses.

(2) Why has replacement taken so long.

(3) How many houses in Defence's existing housing stock: (a) have been acquired or constructed since the 1982 interim scales and standards for low density houses were agreed; and (b) were acquired or constructed before the 1982 scales and standards were agreed.

(4) Given that for capital cities the average maximum time between service personnel's applications for extra temporary rental allowance (TRA) and Government approval of those applications is 7 weeks, what is the average maximum time between application for, and approval of, extra TRA outside capital cities.

Senator Richardson —The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) I expect the new Scales and Standards to be submitted to the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel for approval within a month.

(2) Development of the new Scales and Standards has involved a great deal of consultation both within and outside Defence. Initially, the Scales and Standards development was undertaken jointly by Defence, the Department of Finance and the then Department of Housing and Construction (DHC). The Administrative Arrangements Order of July 1987 resulted in the withdrawal of the Department of Finance from direct involvement, and with the establishment of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), that authority assumed the DHC responsibilities. Further consultation between Defence and DHA then resulted in some changes to the Scales and Standards to take account of the commercial nature of DHA operations. Once the Scales and Standards were agreed between Defence and the DHA, coordination comments were sought from the Department of Industrial Relations. These have now been obtained. Some matters of detail regarding implementation are now being finalized within Defence, before submission to Minister Simmons.

(3) As at 28 February 1989, the Services controlled about 3120 houses provided under the Interim Scales and Standards 1982 and about 19630 provided earlier.

(4) The average maximum time between members' application and DGSC's approval of non capital city TRA cases since 1 January 1989 is 7 weeks.