THA tenants reassured about asset disposal plan

Deb Marten
Country Organiser

Broken Hill's eco-village maximises occupancy.

The Teacher Housing Authority's somewhat controversial asset disposal plan was discussed in detail at the authority's biannual conference in August.

Teacher Housing Authority (THA) general manager Philip Shelley explained the way in which properties were earmarked for disposal and reassured members that properties would not be sold while a current teacher tenant remained.

Resources realised from this disposal program are being directed toward the construction of new properties in those areas with insufficient THA properties.

To maximise tenancy the THA has pursued and constructed flexible design properties. Broken Hill's eco-village was the first example, with another two properties scheduled for construction at Lake Cargelligo.

Mr Shelley also explained the concept of the recently implemented "studio" style accommodation and outlined the benefits of this in attracting relief teachers and visiting specialists to the most isolated areas of NSW.

Department of Education and Communities (DEC) Director of Staffing Mark Anderson talked about improved incentives offered by the DEC in an effort to attract teachers to isolated areas. As of 2014 these improved incentives include a 50 per cent THA rental subsidy for 4-point incentive schools. The THA has properties in 23 towns servicing 50 schools that are eligible to receive this subsidy.

Attendees were given a detailed explanation of the improved access
to permanency for long-term temporary teachers in isolated schools.

They were also given a presentation about managing asbestos in-situ, the dangers associated with exposure to the product, and management of its removal and disposal. THA is to be congratulated on its comprehensive asbestos management plan.

Federation General Secretary John Dixon and other Country Organisers were able to familiarise themselves with THA policy, member concerns around teacher housing and the THA's future directions.

Mr Shelley said the conference provided an opportunity for representatives to discuss issues relevant to their particular communities with their Tenancy Services Officer.

Chairperson Brett Newman thanked participants for their efforts in assisting in the smooth running of THA in their towns.

THA Representatives should be elected by each Teachers Association at their annual general meeting each year.

Deb Marten is Federation's representative on the THA Board.

Feedback

  • THA Representative Ben Carter (Ardlethan Central School): "I really enjoyed the conference and I learnt a lot. I found it very beneficial in understanding the THA processes and the current priorities of the THA. I would definitely go again."
  • THA tenant and representative of 20 years plus Richard Wiseman said: "The THA conference was a great chance for local housing representatives, like myself, to put our views across to board members. THA is currently selling many Griffith properties as part of their disposal plan so this was a great opportunity to approach Phillip Shelley and board members to put across the concerns of the Griffith teachers…All THA staff and board members were available to address our concerns. We appreciated the opportunity to hear about the future direction on the Teacher Housing Authority and interact with other local representatives."
  • Jan Rasmussen (Goodooga CS) found the conference "both informative and team building as it gave up to date information about THA and DEC policy and future directions. The conference allowed for new and experienced THA representatives to network and gain an understanding of tenants' differing perspectives and locations."