Home' Army News : February 4th 2010 Contents Fleet Network Pty Ltd D/L No. 20462
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Army February 4, 2010
AFTER reading the article
"Plan has flex appeal" (Army,
N ovember 26), I have had
enough of the unfair stand-
ards between the sexes in the
How about women having
equal rights at deployments and
job opportunities rather than wor-
rying about enlistment, workplace
flexibility, mentoring and com-
Why don't you do a Defence-
wide survey on women in
Defence who wish to be deployed
and have equal opportunities as
their male counterparts?
Why is the ADF the only
"old fashioned" work group of
its kind? Do you think women
don't understand what they sign
up for? It's like studying a teach-
ing degree for four years then
being told you can't go and teach
because you are a woman.
How does the Defence
Department think they are going
to retain females if they are not
given an equal chance?
All this government and politi-
cal blabbering about why women
can't patrol is a load of rubbish.
I know of many females who are
excellent at their jobs and exceed
the physical fitness of males in
their same chosen area, so why
are we still not allowed the oppor-
tunity to go be in that position?
What is the point in learning
how to be a section command-
er on a Junior Leaders' Course
when, clearly at this point in time,
no female will ever be in com-
mand of a section in war-time
So Defence would rather send
an incompetent soldier who is
I LIVE in an Army MQ within the bounds of
Defence Establishment Berrimah (the old HMAS
Coonawarra) in Darwin.
Why am I paying the same rate for a sub-standard
MQ (as defined in Pacman Part 5 Para 7.5.20 as it is
at least 20-25 years old) as that of someone living in a
brand new MQ?
I don't have any drama about paying the MQ levy
and I like living on Berrimah, I just don't think that it
is right or fair that I am paying for something that I am
not getting. This situation equates to someone who is
entitled to drive a limousine, gets to drive a mini but
pays the higher limousine rate.
When the MQ rates were being revamped I
enquired as to whether the MQs on Berrimah and the
RAAF base would be subject to the change as well. I
was informed that the rate for these houses would not
change as they would be classed as sub-standard and
that as people were posted out, they would not be re-let
People are still moving in and the rates are still
going up. When do I get to drive my limousine?
I have enquired about rectifying this situation
through DHA and they stated that the houses are not
owned by DHA but are managed by them on behalf of
the Army; therefore they do not set the rate, it is set by
I understand that it is easier to say let's put all MQs
in one basket and call it B1 or whatever, but they are
not all the same and therefore should not be dealt with
in that manner. Can we see an equitable resolution to
Cfn Graham Jones
1 Avn Regt
Mr Rob McKellar, Director Housing and Removals Policy,
THE Group Rent Scheme contributions that mem-
bers pay for their housing are set by and are paid
to Defence. DHA neither sets nor collects members'
Member contributions are calculated on a national
basis. The contribution that a member makes is not
based on the value of the individual residence that the
member occupies, but on the average rent value of all
the residences in the rent band/amenity group provided
for the member's rank group.
Defence policy is to share the national rental cost
with the member on a 50/50 basis, although Defence is
currently subsidising more than half the average rent.
The contributions that members make are the same
for all members with the same rank group and hous-
ing circumstances, regardless of where they are posted
within Australia. This ensures that members are not
disadvantaged if they are posted to high rent posting
Cfn Jones suggests that member contributions
should be not be set collectively under the Group Rent
Scheme, but should be dealt with individually. This
would result in members posted to high-cost locations,
such as Darwin, paying considerably more than they
currently do, as contributions would have to reflect
the rental value of each residence. That would not
provide an equitable outcome and would not meet the
Government's requirement that housing assistance
minimise financial detriment for ADF members arising
from regional differences in rental costs, thereby facili-
tating ADF mobility.
Defence, in conjunction with DHA, is continually
improving the quality of accommodation being occu-
pied by members and their dependants. In July 2007,
as part of the introduction of the new housing clas-
sification policy based on market rent, the minimum
standard for service residences was improved.
New housing is being constructed and existing
housing is being upgraded as part of a 10-year transi-
tion program to ensure that all service residences meet
the new minimum standard by July 2017. During this
transition period, housing that meets the old amenity-
based standards remains suitable for occupation by
ADF members, and continues to be factored into the
calculation of ADF members' contributions for their
As part of the upgrade program, major housing
construction projects are planned both on and off-base
I TOTALLY agree with Maj Murray Stewart's let-
ter (Army, December 10).
Being in an engineer unit, there is of course a
certain brashness and reluctance for any sapper to
wear the slouch hat flat. A nice curve is seen by the
vast majority as a very Australian thing, and has even
been dubbed by some of our support staff the "engi-
In reference to RSM-A's comments in the
November 26 edition, it is quite clear the slouch
hat is not only a tradition but a practical thing. The
tradition being its character, the practical its sun
protection. Why then are we constantly told to "iron
that hat flat"? I could understand it for ceremonial
purposes, but not in barracks and when in DPCU. A
nice curve is quite obviously part of the hat's history.
Nowhere in ASODs have I found it to say that this
icon of the Australian Army be worn ironed flat.
I still have my first slouch stashed away at home
against the day that my superiors let me wear an
aged, curved hat.
Spr Christopher Wager
BOTH of my grandfathers served in the 1st AIF,
one in France with 32 Bn and the other in the
Middle East with 10 Light Horse. Both wore their
slouch hats with the brim flat.
For most of my years of service I was required to
wear a beret, a glengarry cap, a slouch hat with the
brim turned up or a peaked cap. Like many of my
generation, I now require regular treatment for facial
skin cancer. What may seem to some to be a tradition
with style and flair seems to me to be sheer stupidity.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer
in the world. A slouch hat, worn with the brim flat, is
one of the best forms of protective headgear available.
Maj Allan Lowe (retd)
unfit and who doesn't perform
well over a female who is "on
paper" a much suitable soldier
for the task. We are all trained
as soldiers exactly the same at
Kapooka so why are we not treat-
ed the same?
Cpl Chloe Witts
Mr Peter Sullivan, Director Rights
and Responsibilities, Fairness and
Resolution Branch, responds:
LET me assure you the
Government is committed to
overcoming systemic, cultural,
attitudinal and behavioural
aspects of the ADF that direct-
ly or indirectly discriminate
against women. ADF women,
and those considering a career
in the military, should be con-
fident they have equal career
opportunities to their male col-
Women are deployed with their
male counterparts on a number
of operations overseas includ-
ing those to the Middle East,
East Timor and Solomon Islands.
While not currently in direct com-
bat positions, women are increas-
ingly being deployed to areas of
operation. Women also have a
long and proud history of serving
our nation and play an integral
role in Defence achieving its pri-
mary role of protecting Australia
and its national interest.
Defence is conducting a
Physical Employment Standards
Project. This is being conduct-
ed by the Defence Science and
Technology Organisation and the
University of Wollongong and
will establish minimum physical
standards for all ADF employ-
ment categories. These will apply
to all ADF members, men and
The establishment of these
standards will provide the ADF
with assurance its personnel pos-
sess adequate physical capaci-
ties to complete the required tasks
effectively and with minimal risk
of injury. The results of the project
will inform the policy debate
about a future expanded role for
women in the ADF.
Any possible changes to exist-
ing employment policy would need
to be carefully managed to ensure
they do not adversely impact on
capability, force structure, unit
morale or women themselves.
Despite this, more and more posi-
tions and employment categories
are being opened to women and
the three services have this con-
stantly under review.
Jobs for the girls: Female recruits complete the same training as male colleagues.
If the hat fits
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