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24 LETTERS AND VIEWPOINTS
Army November 11, 2010
I WAS reading about the production
and trialling of the DPMU and can
see the need for a uniform that meets
the ability to be used in our changing
environments in our current theatres.
If the current colours of both uni-
forms meet our needs as it states in Army
(September 10), why don't we create a
reversible uniform with the appropriate
colours on each side?
The US Marine Corps during World
War II had a reversible uniform that was
designed for beach assaults (sand) and
jungle (green colours), simply by chang-
ing to the colour appropriate for the
So, if they had the technology in
WWII, how is it in 2010 we can't seem
to do it.
A Google search on USMC camou-
flage in WWII will give a heap of exam-
ples of reversible uniforms.
WO2 Aaron Waddell
Q: Why do we get paid uniform main-
tenance allowance (UMA) and what
are we to use it for?
A: UMA is paid in your fortnightly pay.
For diggers the rate is $419 a year,
for SNCOs and WOs the rate is $504
and for officers the rate is $682.
This allowance was established to
compensate individuals for the cost of
replacing those uniform items that are
only received once as initial free issue.
These items of clothing include
polys, grade 1 slouch hats, name tags
and uniform embellishments. All those
uniform items that are covered by UMA
can be bought from the clothing stores.
Uniform replacement items do not
include towels, brushes, jocks, socks and
bras. These are personal items that are
worn as part of everyday clothing.
The allowance is not designed to
cover dry cleaning, laundry and ironing
I WOULD like to know if there is
going to be something done to ease
accommodation issues for members
without dependants (MWOD) not
posted to areas with service-owned
apartments, and if what seems to
be a meaningless service residence
entitlement policy is going to be
I have served more than 17 years
in the ADF. I am currently posted to
Canberra and have been posted to
Melbourne next year. For a long time
now I have asked every posting to be
accommodated in a service residence.
I believe this is available to
MWOD who have served five years
or more if there is surplus accom-
modation. On asking DHA for this I
invariably get told there is no surplus
accommodation (What date if at all
are surplus residences identified?)
When I first got to my current
location I was accommodated in a
hotel room for about two months.
I was living out of a suitcase and
spending a lot of money eating takea-
way and restaurant meals while try-
ing to find rental accommodation as
well as settling into my new job.
DHA advisers usually tell me
about the great schemes involving
service-owned apartments avail-
able for MWOD being instituted in
Townsville and Darwin, which is not
particularly helpful if I am posted to
neither of those locations.
After getting brushed off yet
again for my upcoming posting I flat
out asked what assistance DHA was
able to provide me in finding accom-
modation in my new posting.
The answer was none, unless I
was going to live in, but they could
send me the link to Allhomes.com or
Realestate.com if I wished to live out.
For someone who has served for
17 years, has a house worth of furni-
ture and has at least a passing knowl-
edge of the internet, this was a less
than inspiring answer.
Capt Dominic Richards
Capability & Technology
Mr Tony Job, Senior Contract Manager
Directorate of Relocations and Housing,
DEFENCE provides housing assis-
tance to members of the ADF and
their dependants to assist them with
their accommodation in posting
locations where they do not own a
To do this it uses two distinct
models for the provision of accom-
modation to its members.
Members with dependants
(MWD) are accommodated through
a mix of home ownership, service
residences (SR) and rent allowance
(RA). SRs and RA are adminis-
tered by DHA under a contract with
SRs are provisioned to about 85
per cent of the MWD requirement
nationally. This means they may not
always be available in some locations
at certain times, based on factors
such as the posting cycle and the rank
and family composition of members
vacating and requiring housing. The
availability of SRs is reviewed on an
ongoing basis and takes into account
these factors. Where a suitable SR
is not available, assistance to rent a
home on the private market can be
provided through RA.
Members without dependants
(MWOD) and members with depend-
ants (unaccompanied) (MWD(U))
are accommodated through a mix of
home ownership, living-in accom-
modation (LIA), RA, and MWOD
choice accommodation (MCA).
RA and MCA for MWOD are
managed by DHA for processing
of the application and by Defence
for approval and payment. Those
MWOD who are not required to live
on base for operational or training
purposes are in most cases entitled to
RA to assist with the cost of living in
private rental accommodation.
MWOD choice accommodation
(MCA) is off-base accommodation
for MWOD and MWD(U), made
available by DHA as an alternative to
RA. A trial of MCA began in Darwin
in 2005, and in June 2008 the then
Minister for Defence Science and
Personnel agreed to the trial becom-
ing a permanent arrangement. At
present MCA is not available in any
Members entitled to RA may in
some circumstances have the option
of choosing to live in LIA or occupy-
ing a surplus SR if it is available at
the time that the member applies.
These options, however, are only
possible on an opportunity basis and
will not necessarily be available in all
locations or at all times.
The main option for MWOD not
required to live in is RA.
DHA will attempt to allocate a
surplus SR to an MWOD when they
are available and this decision will
not impact on the housing availability
for MWDs in that posting location.
In this regard there are limited or
no surplus SRs in the major posting
locations across Australia.
It is recognised that the private
rental market in some locations can
be tight. DHA is not contracted by
Defence to assist members in locat-
ing properties on the private rental
market. However, Defence assists by
providing members with temporary
accommodation when posted to a
new location while they search for a
Where accommodation cannot be
found within a member's rent ceil-
ing, the member may apply for a rent
ceiling increase to widen the choices
available to them.
Members may also be able to
access a house-hunting trip to their
new location before posting to assist
HAVE YOUR SAY
Letters under 300 words are preferred.
All letter writers must include their name,
unit, location and contact number for
Letters might be rejected if they are too
long, abusive or can be answered by the
Letters should be emailed to armynews@
Please ease the squeeze
Keeping up appearances
The currency of this allowance
is under review along with most other
Changes to dress of the day over the
past 25 years have reduced the frequency
people wear polys on a day-to-day basis.
The great majority of Army people now
wear DPCU as dress of the day.
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