Australia — Options for RAAF Darwin being investigated

Min­is­ter for Defence Sci­ence and Per­son­nel, War­ren Snow­don said he’s active­ly inves­ti­gat­ing options for the future use of Hous­ing at RAAF Base Dar­win.
Defence com­plet­ed a strate­gic review on all of their prop­er­ty in Dar­win in 2009, which con­clud­ed that there is a con­tin­u­ing strate­gic need to retain the hous­ing land at RAAF Base Dar­win to accom­mo­date future Defence capa­bil­i­ty and con­tin­gency needs.

Mr Snow­don has asked Defence to review the land use require­ments for RAAF Base Dar­win again, with a report due back in ear­ly 2011. “The Gov­ern­ment has a clear process by which we will method­i­cal­ly work through the ques­tion of how we bal­ance Defence’s strate­gic needs for RAAF Base Dar­win and the hous­ing pres­sures fac­ing the Dar­win com­mu­ni­ty.”

“This review will allow the Gov­ern­ment to make a judge­ment about how to pro­ceed. It will allow us to look at how we can best use that land.

“If its avail­able for us to rede­vel­op the land for res­i­den­tial pur­pose, we will look at that pos­si­bil­i­ty, but we don’t just want a short term fix.

“We are already talk­ing the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry Gov­ern­ment about if we can relo­cate some of the hous­es at RAAF Base Dar­win and make them avail­able to the pub­lic.

“In the mean­time, we have asked Defence Hous­ing Aus­tralia to ensure that where vacant hous­es are safe for Defence per­son­nel to occu­py, or can be improved in a cost effec­tive way, per­son­nel and their fam­i­lies will have the choice to move into the hous­es at RAAF Base Dar­win,” Mr Snow­don said.

“The approach of this Gov­ern­ment to Defence hous­ing in Dar­win is one that is method­i­cal, con­sid­ered and respon­si­ble. We make deci­sions based on evi­dence – not slo­gans,” he said.

Defence’s pri­or­i­ty is to pro­vide hous­es for Defence force per­son­nel and their fam­i­lies, and the organ­i­sa­tion that’s respon­si­ble for this is Defence Hous­ing Aus­tralia (DHA).

DHA and Defence work hard to ensure there is appro­pri­ate accom­mo­da­tion estab­lished and avail­able to the approx­i­mate­ly 7,000 Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF) per­son­nel work­ing in the Ter­ri­to­ry. DHA cur­rent­ly man­ages approx­i­mate­ly 2,500 hous­es in the Ter­ri­to­ry to sup­port ADF fam­i­lies.

Mr Snow­don said Defence Hous­ing Aus­tralia has a clear plan to build new hous­es for Defence fam­i­lies, and grad­u­al­ly reduce the avail­abil­i­ty of on-base hous­ing and pres­sure on the Dar­win hous­ing mar­ket.

This includes:
o The devel­op­ment of the Dar­win sub­urb of Muir­head, which includes approx­i­mate­ly 330 hous­es for Defence fam­i­lies when com­plete, in addi­tion to over 750 res­i­den­tial lots for the gen­er­al pub­lic – of which up to 15% will be offered to the NT Gov­ern­ment for afford­able hous­ing.
o Mak­ing 59 hous­es avail­able for the Dar­win com­mu­ni­ty from Lar­rakeyah Bar­racks
o 185 new homes to be built in Dar­win at a cost of $74.4 mil­lion under the Aus­tralian Government’s Nation Build­ing Eco­nom­ic Stim­u­lus pro­gram

Mr Snow­don said Defence has a strong pres­ence in the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry. With a num­ber of major bases it’s a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor to the NT econ­o­my, with more $670 mil­lion con­tributed in the last finan­cial year.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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