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Army October 24, 2013
THE shift to Next Generation Desktop
(NGD) will affect every ADF member
when it is rolled out across Defence from
next year, according to Chief Information
Officer Dr Peter Lawrence.
"We will be effectively upgrading to
the Windows 7 environment and all the
associated infrastructure," Dr Lawrence
"Also, as part of the Telstra terrestrial
communications contract, we are going
to refresh all the network connections so
we have a higher capacity, more resilient
network to enable NGD to run more
Rollout of the new system is sched-
uled to start early next year, with the
Defence Secret Network the first to
be upgraded, followed by the Defence
Dr Lawrence said all the groundwork
had been laid for the transition, which
will continue into 2015.
"About 1200 people are currently on
NGD as part of a pilot program which
began late last year," he said.
"We are currently installing the infra-
structure for the Defence Secret Network
and the plan is to start that rollout early
next year using Chief Information
Officer Group as the first group.
"We will then work our way around
the country in a geographical rollout so
we can take the teams through all the
areas at the same time."
Dr Lawrence said there would be
support provided along the way.
"We will have 'shift' agents, who
will help make the shift to NGD, in all
the areas and the bases to help people
through that process -- no-one will be left
alone to work it out for themselves."
Defence computer system
upgrade starts next year
Allowance mistakes costly
Personnel receiving rental allowance should keep DHA informed of changes or they risk expensive penalties
WO2 Andrew Hetherington
NOT all ADF personnel are eligible for
rent allowance (RA) at all times.
Assistant Director Military Conditions
and Housing Policy Bruce Jackson said
personnel were sometimes confused about
"For members without dependants and
those who are categorised as members
with dependants (unaccompanied), RA is
automatically offered to them if they are not
required to live on base and they don't own a
suitable home in their posting location," Mr
"In the past these members had to apply
through their chain of command to live off
"For members with dependants (MWD),
RA is approved where the member does
not own a suitable home in their posting
location and Defence Housing Australia
(DHA) is unable to provide a suitable service
Mr Jackson said Defence did not meet
100 per cent of the MWD housing need
through service residences because it would
not allow people different housing choices
if they had specific requirements for their
living arrangements, such as if they had a
large family or identified special needs.
"Defence aims to provide up to 85 per
cent of ADF families with a service
residence, thus allowing people with specific
requirements to find accommodation to suit
Personnel receive RA into their bank
account at the same time as their pay. The
amount of RA is listed on a member's salary
Rent ceilings are set for each locality and
are based on a yearly revaluation of service
residences in each posting locality.
A member's rent ceiling can also be
increased based on the number of bedrooms
a member requires, or where a member can
clearly demonstrate that a suitable residence
is not available to rent at the specified
"Defence sets the dollar range for each
rent band based on the rental value of each
property in each rent band in every posting
location, which is then aligned to each of the
ADF rank groups," Mr Jackson said.
ADF personnel need to be aware it is
their responsibility to inform their chain of
command and DHA of any changes that may
affect their eligibility to receive RA.
"Recently we have received an increased
number of policy-related enquiries that have
potential to be fraud cases," Mr Jackson said.
"As these cases can have an impact on
a member's career and personal financial
situation, we advise members to be vigilant
of their situation.
"Members must report any change
in circumstance, no matter how minor the
change may seem."
For more information on RA read chapter 7, part 6
of the Pay and Conditions Manual at the website
Home sweet home: Families with special circumstances may be entitled to receive RA instead of
a service residence, but changes in living arrangements should be passed on to Defence and DHA.
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