Bar­racks plan con­cern

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

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.

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