Is the DHA on the Up for Sale?

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Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
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Defence Housing Australia is shaping up as one of several government entities that could be sold as part of the next federal budget.

Defence Housing Australia is shaping up as one of several government entities that could be sold as part of the next federal budget.

The Abbott government is understood to have received a report from consultants Lazard on the sale of the agency, which was recommended in the national commission of audit.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says no decision has been made on any aspect of the DHA scoping study.  The government was committed to supporting the housing needs of the Australian Defence Force and maintaining standards of quality, he said.

The scoping study included input from the Department of Defence, the Australian Defence Force and Defence family and welfare organisations.  The agency has almost 650 staff and manages, leases or owns more than 15,000 houses occupied by Defence members and their families.

Alf Jaugietis, executive director of the Defence Force Welfare Association, said the sale of DHA would only provide a one-off windfall for the government.

“This would effectively result in ADF families being thrown onto the private rental market and destroy the good work that DHA has done,” he said.

The association is lobbying coalition MPs to stop the sale.

Labor MP Gai Brodtmann said the government had not made a case for how the sale would improve the way housing was provided to ADF personnel and their families.

DHA had also provided a steady stream of revenue for the government, she said.

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