Standing up for Canberra

Government must guarantee housing security for Defence families

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Gai Brodtmann has today called on the Abbott Government to detail exactly how it will guarantee the ongoing housing security for Defence personnel and their families.

“The Government’s plans to outsource Defence Housing Australia show it has little concern for our ADF personnel and their families,” Ms Brodtmann said.

“Outsourcing DHA also fails the test of fiscal good sense. DHA is a reliable revenue source, paying the Government an annual dividend of around $51 million. At a time when the Government claims to be addressing a revenue shortfall, selling DHA makes no sense.

“DHA has been an extremely successful part of Defence support arrangements, vastly improving the housing circumstances of Defence personnel and their families since its inception.

“DHA also enjoys great support from Defence members, who have given it a 92 per cent satisfaction rating.

“ADF families have to relocate on a regular basis.  This is one of the most stressful aspects of service life. They deserve an efficient and responsive organisation to ensure that this is minimised.

“We know that when the UK’s Ministry of Defence Housing was privatised in 1996, the standard of repair of a number of properties fell and management arrangements became increasingly complex, causing great difficulties for defence families.

“So far the Abbott Government has failed to guarantee this will not happen in Australia.

“As the old saying goes – ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’”