BAR­NETT OP­POSES SAS VIL­LAGE PRO­POSAL

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By JON BAS­SETT

FORMER SAS sol­diers have wel­comed Cottes­loe MLA Colin Bar­nett’s op­po­si­tion to the pro­posed de­mo­li­tion and re­de­vel­op­ment of the SAS’s Seaward Vil­lage in Swan­bourne by Defence Hous­ing Aus­tralia.

“We ap­plaud the in­volve­ment of Mr Bar­nett, as we be­lieve stop­ping the re­de­vel­op­ment is the only vi­able and log­i­cal so­lu­tion for the longterm vi­a­bil­ity of Camp­bell Bar­racks, and the se­cu­rity of defence fam­i­lies,” Aus­tralian SAS As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Terry Nolan said.

The as­so­ci­a­tion, lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and Mr Bar­nett want DHA to scrap its $180 mil­lion pro­posal to de­mol­ish the ex­ist­ing 153 homes and build up to 335 smaller homes, in­clud­ing po­ten­tially about 160 blocks for civil­ians.

Op­po­nents want DHA to fin­ish re­fur­bish­ing the ex­ist­ing bun­ga­lows, af­ter about a third were done be­fore the pro­gram stopped sev­eral years ago, and the re­de­vel­op­ment was pro­posed.

Mr Bar­nett re­cently vis­ited the vil­lage and heard res­i­dents’ con­cerns, in­clud­ing dis­rup­tion to fam­i­lies and not know­ing new civil­ian neigh­bours in a height­ened na­tional se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment.

“I be­lieve there is bet­ter sense in con­tin­u­ing the re­fur­bish­ment pro­gram,” Mr Bar­nett wrote to new Defence Min­is­ter Marise Payne.

“This will cause far less dis­rup­tion to fam­i­lies based in the vil­lage. I also share the con­cerns of mix­ing civil­ian and defence per­son­nel,” Mr Bar­nett said, be­fore invit­ing Sen­a­tor Payne to meet with him when she is next in WA.

Swan­bourne Coastal Al­liance spokesman Jean-Paul Orsini said Mr Bar­nett’s com­ments bol­stered the en­vi­ron­men­tal group’s op­po­si­tion to DHA’s pro­posal.

Last Fri­day, the Gov­ern­ment had still not an­nounced which min­is­ter had re­spon­si­bil­ity for the DHA, af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Malcolm Turn­bull an­nounced his first Cabi­net.

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