Evidence given today in Canberra has highlighted the dire consequences of the Abbott-Turnbull Government privatising Defence Housing Australia for Townsville and other regional centres.
The Real Estate Institute of Australia has warned the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee that the proposal to privatise DHA would threaten small businesses in regional Australia, putting regional jobs and growth at risk.
“REI is also concerned that, should privatisation be considered, the only possible buyers of a business the size of DHA would be one of the large property conglomerates, which operate under a centralised capital city model with little regional employment.”
JOCK KREITALS, ACTING CEO, REAL ESTATE INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA, 23 MARCH 2016
DHA is a crucial cog in the Townsville local economy, and a key enabler of the Australian Defence Force’s capacity to recruit and retain personnel. It is an effective program, with a stellar record of customer satisfaction for Defence members and their families.
At a time when the region is going through a considerable downturn, the last thing Townsville needs is more pain and more uncertainty.
“DHA is very active in Townsville in an economy that is already, as you are well aware, undergoing considerable downturn and DHA activities do provide a significant positive in the economy.”
JOCK KREITALS, ACTING CEO, 23 MARCH 2016
DHA’s staff and contractors make up nearly 2,000 jobs across regional Australia, including a strong presence in Townsville. Putting their jobs on the chopping block means cutting Defence’s recruitment and retention capability.
Privatising DHA would be a body blow to jobs and small businesses in Townsville.
The Abbott-Turnbull Government must come clean on its on-again off-again privatisation plans for DHA and give the small businesses of Townsville some long overdue certainty.
WEDNESDAY, 23 MARCH 2016