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Defence housing site scrutinised

Date

Michael Inman

A proposed $39 million Defence housing estate in Weston Creek will be scrutinised by a parliamentary committee in July.

The Public Works Committee announced last week that it would inspect the north Weston site and conduct a public hearing during the routine investigation.

Defence Housing Australia plans to create a mix of urban residential and suburban dwellings on the 8.28 hectare block.

The subdivision is bounded by Heysen Street and Unwin Place, close to Orana School and the Islamic School of Canberra.

DHA said the proposed 50-dwelling development would house Defence families, particularly those based at the nearby Australian Defence College, and guarantee the number of Defence personnel on rental assistance remains below 15 per cent.

The project is part of DHA's capital investment and residential construction program, replacing houses at the end of lease or that do not meet current standards.

The project is slated for completion in December 2014 at a total cost of about $39 million.

DHA said the cost would be recovered by selling individual lots to the public and the sale of Defence constructed housing through the sale and lease back program.

All proposed public works undertaken by the Commonwealth worth more than $15 million are investigated by the committee.

Chair Janelle Saffin said: ''This development aims to meet the needs of the broader Defence community and will provide an important accommodation option for personnel attending the Australian Defence College.

''It is the committee's role to review the proposed development and construction of housing at the Weston Creek site, to ensure the project meets its desired purpose and represents value for money for the Commonwealth.''

DHA acquired the property through a land swap with the ACT government in 2009. The government received land at Duffy for the Molonglo development in exchange for the north Weston block.

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