Village plans still being promoted

“Subject to planning approvals, construction of the new child care centre will commence in 2016, the demolition and civil works to commence in 2017 with completion of the development anticipated in 2022,” DHA’s website stated last Thursday.

The webpage had contact information for anyone interested in the proposed flattening of the 22ha village, including using parks commemorating three fallen SAS soldiers to create 140 civilian lots on 250sq m each within 300m of the SAS’s strategically sensitive Campbell Barracks.

Sale of the lots, likely to have army-imposed design restrictions, would have to recoup Canberra’s initial funding for the project that includes 165 new, high-density soldiers homes next to the barracks.

The seven-year project could result in anything from a $25 million loss to a $50 million profit for DHA, so a Government-ordered review of the proposal has now asked DHA to re-cost its proposal in a falling real estate market.

The review is considering just refurbishing the village’s 153 homes, any redevelopment’s security and social impacts and a need for a protective covenant over the site’s future use. Australian SAS Association chairman Terry Nolan said DHA’s promotion of the redevelopment went against soldiers’, their wives and ratepayers’ thinking the village had a “stay of execution” since the review started in November.

“The minister promised a review which we all understood would put a hold on everything, and DHA are now still flying a flag for this proposal on their website,” Mr Nolan said.

He said the website’s contact details could make anyone think DHA still anticipated developers’ inquiries about the private lots.

After Western Suburbs Weekly inquiries last week, DHA’s website was changed to say Seaward was “on hold”.

DHA acting managing director Jan Mason said the alteration acknowledged the project was on hold, pending the Government considering the review but all references to Seaward would not be removed from the website.