Barracks plan concern
FORMER SAS soldiers and defence force families say a Federal Government committee will not be doing its duty if it does not examine the affect of the proposed Seaward Village redevelopment in Swanbourne on Campbell Barracks.
“We contend that in cases where Defence Housing Australia development proposals may impact directly and adversely on works projects which your committee has been entrusted to overview, then the committee could be seen as remiss if it did not examine the possible adverse impact of those DHA projects, and make decisions and recommendations accordingly,” an Australia SAS Association submission to the Federal Works Committee says.
The committee, chaired by West Perthbased Senator Dean Smith, holds a Perth hearing into a separate $230 million refurbishment of the barracks this Thursday.
The association wants the hearing to include DHA’s $165 million proposal to demolish the neighbouring 22ha soldiers’ village, use half for private housing and the remainder for new defence homes by 2022.
“There can be little doubt that the presence of about 150 civilian houses, some positioned on the highest part of the village where they overlook large areas inside the barracks and another located in close proximity to the barrack’s secure area, will create additional and unnecessary security concerns for SAS Regiment,” the submission said.
The submission said the development would breach the committee’s 1991 recommendation that no private housing encroach on the barracks for security reasons, and it “must” be assumed that with a high national threat level, the barracks, its personnel and their families are potential terrorism targets.
However, the Government put DHA outside the committee’s auspice in 2014.
Yesterday, the committee had received a Department of Defence submission but any others would have to be authorised and accepted before being made public.
The committee will consider all issues raised through written submissions or at the hearing that fall within its terms of reference to examine the Barrack’s refurbishment.
The public hearing is at Rendezvous Hotel Scarborough on August 6 from 2pm.