Home' Army News : November 7th 2013 Contents With over
Spectrum is a Licensed Real Estate Agent, Registered Tax Agent & Accredited Mortgage Consultant.
VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
To discus which
strategy is right f r you
1300 784 246
DO YOU WANT TO
OWN YOUR OWN HOME
FOR $1037 PER FORTNIGHT?
(TIER 3 DHOAS)
DO YOU WANT TO
OWN AN INVESTMENT PROPERTY
FOR $58 PER FORTNIGHT?
• $400 PER WEEK RENTAL INCOME
• TAX REFUND OF OVER $7,000
Huge range of Corps and
Sterling Silver $249.00
9ct Yellow Gold $645.00
18ct Yellow Gold $1545.00
White and rose gold also available.
Visit www.armyshop.com.au or call
02 6123 2960 for details.
Army Shop at Military Shop
65 Kembla Street Fyshwick Canberra
armyshop.com.au 02 6123 2960
Army November 7, 2013
WITH the relocation of 3RAR
to Townsville, the Holsworthy
area has been left with numerous
vacant married quarters.
As a member with dependants, if
I desire Defence to support my living
arrangements, I must live in a married
quarter in this area.
DHA frequently tells me I'm not
entitled to a married quarter in any
other Sydney area as they are outside
my posting locality. This ruling does
not apply in Canberra, as most of the
vacant married quarters are in the
If I am posted to Bungendore,
for example, I must live up to 50
minutes away from work, which
would put my house outside my post-
ing locality. However, as a member
without dependants, I can choose to
live in any location and receive rent
assistance (RA), regardless of post-
ing locality (provided I have CO's
approval to live outside 30km).
These policies have been writ-
ten into Pacman, presumably to suit
Defence Housing Australia's vacant
housing issue, and are blindly imple-
mented without thought of the impli-
cation to families.
I propose the following solution:
remove the married quarter and RA
entitlements and replace them with
This can be at a rate commensu-
rate with what a married quarter or
RA currently costs Defence.
It could also be variable according
to location, much the same way RA
currently is. However, an allowance
would enable members to live in a
location of their choosing, paying
extra if they so choose, and allowing
families and single members alike to
have access to more desirable loca-
tions. Food for thought.
2 Cdo Regt
Housing and Removals -- Policy
Assistant Director Bob Jones
ADF housing and accommoda-
tion assistance is provided to sup-
port the mobility and capability of
The choice of housing solutions
for members needs to balance a
degree of flexibility with being cost-
effective for Defence.
I AM a corporal living in a service res-
idence classified Rent Band 2 (RB2)
under the higher contribution scheme.
I am aware that under the policy
Pacman volume 2, chapter 7, part 5, divi-
sion 9 7.5.44 that if a member chooses
to accept a service residence with a rent
band higher than the one specified for the
members' rank group eligibility then the
member must pay the contribution listed
for their rank and the higher rent band
under Pacman volume 2, chapter 7, part 5,
division 9, annex 7.A1 for the period they
hold the home.
Although the policy states what our
contributions are it does not state how this
amount is justified.
The member is often forced to accept
this due to no other suitable housing being
available, and is only offered the service
residence when there is a surplus of hous-
ing in that rank band available.
I believe the higher contribution
scheme is an unequitable scheme which
borders on rank discrimination.
If a captain/warrant officer elects to
occupy a RB3 property they pay $674.05
-- a difference of $90.03 over their nor-
mal fortnightly contributions of $583.97.
However, if a private/corporal/sergeant
elects to occupy an RB2 property they pay
$690.98 -- a difference of $214.02 over
their normal fortnightly contributions of
Not only are their contributions higher,
the difference to the normal fortnightly
entitlement is more than double.
If a justification cannot be provided
I believe there is sufficient evidence for
the higher contributions scheme to be
reviewed to ensure it does not discrimi-
nate.A fairer system would be a single flat
rate increase for each rent band increase
or, alternatively, pay the normal contribu-
tion for the service residence occupied.
Cpl Nathan Meers
Lone Pine Soldier Recovery Centre
Housing and Removals -- Policy Assistant
Director Bob Jones responds:
THERE are different ways that a
member may end up living in a ser-
vice residence (SR) that is either
above or below the rent band based
on their rank.
The reason a member is living in an
SR outside of their rank entitlement has
an effect on the rent contribution they are
required to make. In particular, whether
the member has made a choice to live in
the SR (as opposed to being allocated the
residence) has the biggest impact.
If a member is allocated an SR out-
side of their rank group because suitable
accommodation at their rank group is not
available, then their contributions are
always equal to or less than what they
would have been if they had occupied a SR
within their rank group.
For instance, a corporal who is allo-
cated an RB2 property because there are
no suitable RB1 properties available will
pay the RB1 contribution.
A member's rank determines their rent
band and this determines the amount of
rent subsidy. If suitable accommodation is
available within the member's rank entitle-
ment, but the member chooses to occupy
an SR below their rank entitlement, their
contribution is reduced to that of the lower
If a member chooses accommodation
in a rent band above their entitlement, they
are still only entitled to the amount of sub-
sidy determined by their rank.
Because their level of assistance does
not increase, the member's contribution
must increase to cover the gap between
the rent cost of the SR and the subsidy that
Defence provides to them (based on their
This may well result in a member
who chooses an SR above their rent band
entitlement paying a higher rent contribu-
tion for the property than a member who,
based on their rank, is entitled to an SR in
that higher rent band.
In summary, if a member is consider-
ing the option of choosing to occupy an SR
outside of their rank-based rent band enti-
tlement then they must consider the ongo-
ing financial obligations of this decision,
including that their rent contributions may
increase on an annual basis as a result of
the routine review of member contributions
that occurs each year.
More information on member contributions for
SRs including the higher contribution scheme is
available in Pacman chapter 7, part 5, division 9,
which can be accessed on the intranet via
the PeopleConnect website or on the internet
via the Department of Defence Pay and
An integral part of the ADF hous-
ing and accommodation strategy
involves DHA being contracted by
Defence to provide suitable service
residences (SR) to ADF members
within their posting location if they
do not own a suitable home within
that posting location.
Posting location is set by Defence
and is defined at clause 1.3.52 of
Pacman. It refers to an area surround-
ing a member's normal place of duty,
which is determined by the greater of
the distance the member can travel
from their usual residence to their
normal place of duty and back in 150
minutes using public transport or
30km each way by public road.
A posting location can also be
any greater area in which an SR is
located, if the SR is made available
for members serving at the member's
normal place of duty.
Defence requires DHA to offer an
SR to a member with dependants if
there is a suitable SR available inside
the member's posting location. If
no suitable SR is available then the
member may access RA. Members
are required to obtain an RA property
within their posting location.
The whole of the ACT has been
deemed to be the posting location for
members posted to Canberra-based
units and also for members posted
to HQJOC at Bungendore (refer
to Pacman subclause 18.104.22.168c.).
Defence requires DHA to provide
SRs to eligible members inside this
area and ADF members who are not
eligible for an SR, or for whom an SR
is not available and who do not live-
in or own a suitable own home, are
required to occupy an RA residence
inside this area.
A member's CO may approve an
expanded area of posting location
that the member proposes but only if
the member can demonstrate daily
attendance for duty would not be
affected by any additional travelling
time and the member commutes daily
to work. However, it should be noted
that in these circumstances, members
will still be offered an SR inside their
standard posting area as this is where
Defence requires DHA to provide
In addition, if the member
becomes eligible for RA and the mem-
ber rents a property which also falls
within the area of an adjacent posting
locality, the member will only be enti-
tled to the lower of the two applicable
Providing housing assistance as
an allowance could have some unde-
sirable consequences such as taxation
implications for members including
a potential detrimental impact on the
Family Tax Benefit.
Further information can be found in
First choice: Housing and accommodation assistance is provided to
support the mobility and capability of the ADF.
ARMY welcomes letters
To increase the
likelihood of having a
letter published, please
Preference is given
to letters under 250
Letters may be
edited for space and
Letters must include
authors name, unit,
Letters might be
rejected if they are too
long, abusive or can
be answered by the
Email letters to
Links Archive October 24th 2013 November 21st 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page