Critics demand review release

“Any delay in the public release of the review by the Federal Government and the Assistant Minister for Defence would only strengthen suspicions that the review merely put out DHA’s side of the story,” Swanbourne Coastal Alliance convenor Jean-Paul Orsini said.

New Assistant Minister for Defence Michael McCormack last month received the report of the review into DHA’s plan to redevelop part of the village into 140 private lots to pay for 165 new homes for soldiers in the village.

Nedlands Mayor Max Hipkins said SAS wives and ratepayers were “sweating” on its outcome.

Cottesloe MLA Colin Barnett said while the report’s release was a ministerial decision, he “hoped” it would be made public. But he said he believed there should be no private homes in the village because there was other land in the western suburbs for private development.

On February 10, Defence Minister Marise Payne said it would be “up to the Government” to decide on the report being public.

“If the Defence Minister suggests that the DHA proposal can go ahead on the basis of information in the report’s Security Risk Assessment that she is not willing to release, then we will be justified in questioning that decision,” Australian SAS Association chairman Terry Nolan said.

Mr Nolan said it was “farcical” there had been three defence ministers and three assistant defence ministers since Federal Cabinet was told of DHA’s proposal in 2014.

Curtin MHR Julie Bishop said she would seek a briefing on the report, but she expected the Government could take “some time” to consider it, depending on its recommendations.