PM change stalls SAS re­view

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

CURTIN MHR Julie Bishop says Prime Min­is­ter Malcolm Turn­bull’s par­lia­men­tary coup to over­throw Tony Ab­bott stalled a re­view of Defence Hous­ing Aus­tralia’s con­tro­ver­sial pro­posal to de­mol­ish the SAS’s Seaward Vil­lage for profit.

“It was about to be an­nounced just when there was a change of lead­er­ship,” Ms Bishop told the Western Sub­urbs Weekly last Fri­day.

That day, she asked As­sis­tant Min­is­ter for Defence Dar­ren Ch­ester to re­view DHA’s re­de­vel­op­ment, and con­sider in­vest­ing money from the sale of East Fre­man­tle’s Leeuwin Bar­racks in Seaward.

“I think there are a num­ber of chal­lenges that have not been ad­dressed by the Seaward pro­posal,” Ms Bishop said.

She said her meet­ings with vil­lagers, res­i­dents and Cottes­loe MLA Colin Bar­nett had high­lighted is­sues, in­clud­ing the re­de­vel­op­ment us­ing Swan­bourne’s res­i­den­tial Sayer Street, the se­cu­rity risk, re­lo­cat­ing mil­i­tary fam­i­lies and if pri­vate lots were the “best op­tion” when the cur­rent vil­lage could be re­fur­bished.

DHA pro­poses to flat­ten 153 sol­diers’ homes in the 22ha vil­lage for some civil­ian lots within 300m of the SAS’ Camp­bell Bar­racks and build a high-den­sity sol­diers’ precinct of 165 homes us­ing the rest of the site and part of the bar­racks.

Op­po­nents say this con­tra­venes a 1991 agree­ment that no civil­ian homes en­croach on the vil­lage and that hav­ing civil­ians closer poses risks in a height­ened na­tional se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment.

Last Satur­day, SAS sup­port­ers tar­geted Ms Bishop with a plane-towed ban­ner that read “SASR needs space not DHA E$tates - Julie!?”.

Aus­tralian SAS As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Terry Nolan wel­comed Ms Bishop’s re­quest for a re­view but said SAS fam­i­lies and the Swan­bourne com­mu­nity needed cer­tainty. Mr Nolan wanted this re­solved be­fore Christ­mas.

Yes­ter­day, DHA an­nounced that former Depart­ment of Fi­nance deputy sec­re­tary Jan Ma­son had re­placed DHA man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Pe­ter How­man.

The ban­ner in the sky on Satur­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.