Federal Labor is calling on the Abbott/Turnbull Government to immediately come clean on its plans for Defence Housing Australia.
Reports today suggest the on-again off-again sale of DHA is back on - placing Defence families under increased uncertainty.
There are fears within the defence community that the appointment of former Department of Finance Deputy Secretary as Acting Managing Director, to replace Peter Howman, shows the Government is again preparing to privatise the agency.
The defence community, defence associations and the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, have all spoken out publicly against the sale of DHA.
In a statement to the ABC today, Air Chief Marshal Binskin said the ADF “supports the continuation of DHA as a government-owned entity.”
The Alliance of Defence Service Organisations has also warned against the sale.
“Our fear is that the Department of Finance aims to siphon off capital and operating funds to give the Government a one-off financial windfall and in the process emasculate DHA, to the detriment of Australian Defence Force families.”
ADSO – Media Release – 3 NOVEMEBER 2015
Since the Abbott/Turnbull Government outlined its intention to sell DHA in the 2014 Budget, Defence personnel and their families have been left in a constant state of uncertainty.
DHA has a central role in supporting ADF personnel and their families by providing housing that meets the needs created by the unique nature of military service.
A recent survey showed DHA has a customer satisfaction rating of 94 per cent and just last week Mr Howman, the former Managing Director of DHA, won an award for being the Customer Service CEO of the Year from the Customer Service Institute of Australia.
DHA is an essential and extremely successful part of Defence support arrangements.
DHA provides a key service to Defence personnel and their families and also continues to be a reliable and increasing source of revenue for Government.
In the 2013-14 financial year, DHA achieved a net profit after tax of $90.1 million, $5.8 million above budget.
Defence families deserve certainty. The Government must make its intentions clear.