Department of Social Security Concerns
Changes to Government legislation saw many Defence families having to declare their rental subsidy as a fringe benefit. Many lost their family payments, Austudy and other Government allowances. Minister Punch with the help of the NCGSF and others was able to have all Defence Housing decaled “special housing”, which restored the benefits Defence families had lost.
Extra Tuition Allowance
Prior to 1994 only students in the last two years of primary school and in high school were eligible for this allowance. The NCGSF had actively pursued changes in this area for a number of years because the group believed that problems with schooling due to mobility were as likely to arise in the early years of school. Due to changes agreed to by the Department of Industrial Relations in September, the policy guidelines were extended to allow Defence children in the first four years of schooling to be eligible for Tuition Allowance.
Problems caused due to mobility were recognised by the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal (DFRT). In granting the service allowance to Defence members, the DFRT took into consideration such factors as spouse employment and the financial impact this has on Defence families.