First SAS families set to move into Defence Housing Australia’s refurbished Seaward Village

DHA defence communications manager Virginia Tapia walk outside the renovated homes. Pictures: Jon Bassett
DHA defence communications manager Virginia Tapia walk outside the renovated homes. Pictures: Jon Bassett

HOMES tough enough to battle the sea but softly decorated will welcome back SAS families who move in to the first of Defence Housing Australia’s (DHA) refurbished houses at Seaward Village, Campbell Barracks in Swanbourne next month.

“We’ve done complete renovations with all-new kitchens, blinds, bathrooms, floor coverings, lawns and reticulation, pavers and verandas, and reverse-cycle airconditioning, when they were previously evaporative systems,” DHA program director Craig Smith told the Western Suburbs Weekly yesterday.

In 2016, DHA was forced by SAS and Swanbourne ratepayers’ opposition to reverse proposed demolition of half of the 22ha, 153-home village used mostly by the married and experienced operators in the elite regiment.

The proposal would have used about 11ha for private development, and put a new, 165-home precinct for soldiers and their families on the remaining land.

DHA program director Craig Smith and the new solar water heating systems.

However, opposition caused Curtin MHR Julie Bishop to announce DHA would instead spend about $48.3 million over three years renovating the mainly 1980s-built bungalows, before the project with about 100 workers started in October last year.

A Federal Government review found many of the homes had been not maintained for several years, leading to allegations DHA had been pre-empting the failed sale.

Last Wednesday, about 50 SAS and other military families toured the one of the first completed renovations at a three-bedroom, two bathroom home of a type intended for senior non-commissioned officers and their families.

DHA upgrade program manager Ruth Grey and DHA WA project manager Angelo Galati in the home’s new rear veranda.

Mr Smith claimed the families were “extremely positive” about the house, which was one of the 58 chosen for the first stage of the project because many had failed Department of Defence requirements for a second bathroom, which had since been rectified.

Each home has been painted in neutral colours, and the village’s closeness to the sea was considered during the renovations.

“The salt comes in, so we’ve put in long-lasting, low-maintenance external fittings, and the roofs have been resealed and repainted,” Mr Smith said.

The renovation’s second stage upgrading another 43 homes in the village will start in July, before which DHA and defence families will decide how the stage one homes are allocated.

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