Home' Army News : October 13th 2011 Contents 24 LETTERS
Army October 13, 2011
Specialising in Income Tax Returns for
Armed Forces Personnel for over 20 YEARS
INCOME TAX RETURNS
SYDNEY LEVEL 1, 23 OXFORD RD, INGLEBURN
PHONE 02 9829 4188
I WOULD like to draw attention to
current PACMAN policy in regard to
"breakdown of marriage and or recog-
nised de facto relationships".
Current PACMAN policy only covers
the removal and/or relocation of non-
Defence spouses to locations of their
choosing. This same current policy is not
afforded to a serving Defence member
and it is for this reason I'm writing this
It is more than reasonable to cover
all expenses to uplift and relocate a non-
Defence spouse, especially if they wish to
relocate back to their home location or to
be back near their immediate family. I feel
it's unacceptable to leave serving soldiers
out in the cold to deal with not only rela-
tionship breakdowns, but also removals at
their own expense.
There is no provision under PACMAN
that entitles a serving soldier to a TOLL
removal and a realistic DHA married
quarter eviction timeframe.
DHA provides 30 days to evict from a
married quarter once a serving member's
categorisation has changed to MWOD.
For some people, 30 days may be suf-
ficient but in most cases finding suitable
RA accommodation can take much longer
and can conflict with a member's unit
training requirements such as field exer-
DHA in most cases are abrupt with
such members and demand a serving
member evict the married quarter within
the 30 days with the only reason given
being "other qualifying members with
dependents need the property".
Granted the property is no longer enti-
tled to a member going through a relation-
ship breakdown, but DHA, TOLL and the
ADF needs to start showing compassion
to soldiers who give everything to their
country, sometimes including sacrificing
I know only too well how this plays
out, having experienced a marriage break-
down four years ago. I feel it's about time
the ADF, TOLL and DHA review their
policies on "breakdown of marriage" and
consider the needs of serving soldiers
when it comes to removal entitlements
and assistance with finding new suitable
I am confident that if this policy was
to include serving members, many admin-
istrative issues could be avoided within
units and allow those soldiers affected to
be at ease with one problem and focus on
sorting out their life and getting back on
track with their work commitments.
Lt Travis Holt
Director Service Conditions and Housing Policy
Peter Redston responds:
PERSONNEL policy relating to ADF
members is developed by Defence and
must be agreed by the three services
and relevant groups before it is enacted
through the PACMAN.
It is important to note that DHA
and TOLL Transitions are contracted to
administer and apply Defence policy.
Lt Holt is correct in his interpretation
of the current PACMAN provisions in
regard to "assistance for non-service per-
son on breakdown of marriage or interde-
pendent partnership" as it relates to what
removal assistance is available.
The same provisions allow members
to move their goods and effects to loca-
tions within Australia where they intend
to live after ceasing continuous full-
time service or a removal to the nearest
Commonwealth storage facility.
However, there is no provision for a
removal to alternate accommodation in the
member's current posting location.
Defence recognises that this can
(unintentionally) cause disadvantage to
the member and is seeking to redress the
issue. In order to do so, adequate and sus-
tainable funding within the service budg-
ets would need to be identified.
The three services have been very keen
to make this change to policy, but so far
have been unable to identify the appropri-
ate funding to do so.
Defence recognises that the breakdown
of a relationship is a significant stressor
and an emotional time for any individual
and provides support and assistance to its
members through multiple avenues, albeit
to the extent that current policies and
operational requirements will allow.
The time a member has to vacate a
service residence after a breakdown of
marriage or interdependent relationship
is based on Defence policy and in some
instances can be extended beyond 28 days.
A request would need to be made to the
member's local DHA office.
Moving hassles: The
three services are
attempting to rectify
a policy flaw that
covers a non-Defence
but not the Defence
member in the event of
a marriage breakdown.
Photo by Cpl Aaron Curran
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