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Part 4: Compensation for loss or damage to items stored or removed

6.4.1 Purpose

  1. A member, their dependant or legal personal representative may be compensated for loss or damage to furniture or effects removed or stored at Commonwealth expense.

  2. Compensation under this Part is based on the principle that an item will be repaired unless it is not reasonable and economical to do so. If it is not repaired, the item may be replaced with either a new or like item, depending on the type and age of the item.

  3. A member may also be reimbursed the cost of insuring goods that they remove at their own expense or that are urgently required.

    Note: Furniture and effects means all portable household items ordinarily used for domestic purposes and convenience.

6.4.2 Definitions

This table defines terms used in this Part.

Definitions
Term Meaning in this Part
new-for-old Compensation that replaces a lost or damaged item with one of the following.
  1. A new item. If an identical replacement is not possible, a new item with features as close as possible to the damaged item will be provided.
    Example: An eight year old 355 litre single door frost-free refrigerator is damaged beyond repair and is no longer sold in the same model. A new refrigerator with features as close as possible to the damaged one will be provided as a replacement.
  2. A payment equal to the cost of replacing the lost or damaged item with a new item.
like-for-like Compensation that replaces a lost or damaged item with one of the following.
  1. A used item with similar features, having regard to the lost or damaged item's age, style and condition.
  2. A payment equal to the cost of replacing the lost or damaged item with a similar used item.
owner Owner or legal personal representative of the owner of an item for which a compensation claim is made.

6.4.3 Person eligible for compensation

  1. A member may be compensated for loss or damage to furniture and effects if both of these conditions are met.

    1. They were granted a removal within Australia at Commonwealth expense.

    2. Items of their furniture and effects were lost or damaged during the removal. This includes any period when they were stored at Commonwealth expense.

  2. The member is not eligible for compensation from the Commonwealth for any furniture and effects that the member insures against loss or damage.

    Note: This is because compensation is provided for under the insurers' warranty system.

  3. A dependant or legal personal representative of the member may be compensated under this Part in the same way as a member.

    Example: The dependant may claim because the member is overseas on deployment or is ill.

6.4.4 General principle - repair or replacement of like item

  1. Compensation for loss or damage is paid to the member through the Commonwealth removalist.

  2. If a member claims under this Part, then action to compensate must be agreed upon by the owner before it is carried out.

  3. A damaged item may be repaired if the Commonwealth removalist decides it is reasonable and economical to do so.

  4. If subsection 3 does not apply, compensation for lost or damaged items is either 'new-for-old' or 'like-for-like'. This will depend on the item's type and age specified in the following table.

  5. Item type and age
    Item If the claim is for... and the date of manufacture is... then the item may be treated as...
    1. an electrical item with a new replacement value of more than $500
    Examples: Television, computer, sound system.
    within 10 years of the removal uplift new-for-old.
    10 years or more before the removal uplift like-for-like.
    2. an electrical item with a new replacement value of $500 or less
    Examples: Kettle, toaster, blender
    within 5 years of the removal uplift new-for-old.
    5 years or more before the removal uplift like-for-like.
    3. an electrical whitegood
    Examples: Refrigerator, washing machine, microwave oven
    within 15 years of the removal uplift new-for-old.
    15 years or more before the removal uplift like-for-like.
    4. a furniture item
    Examples: Dining table, bookshelf, lounge suite.
    within 10 years of the removal uplift new-for-old.
    10 years or more before the removal uplift like-for-like.
    5. any other item
    Examples: Picture frame, crockery, bicycle.
    within 7 years of the removal uplift new-for-old.
    7 years or more before the removal uplift like-for-like.

    Example: A television manufactured on 1 January 2010 is 10 years old on 1 January 2020. The television will be replaced new-for-old if the removal uplift in which the item is damaged happens on or before 31 December 2019.

  6. If a lost or damaged item is one of a pair or collection, then compensation is only paid for the item itself, not the set. Compensation may also be paid if the loss or damage to the item causes any loss of use of the set.

  7. Example: If the rest of the set cannot function properly without the lost item, compensation could be paid.

  8. The Commonwealth removalist may refuse to provide compensation under this Part for an item the owner has repaired, replaced, disposed of or continues to use or own.

  9. Example: The Commonwealth removalist will not replace a damaged item because the owner sold it on Gumtree.

  10. If a member or owner sells a lost or damaged item for which compensation has been provided, they must repay the value of the compensation to the Commonwealth.

6.4.5 Repair or hire of items

  1. The member may be reimbursed for the immediate repair of an item, if all the following conditions are met.

    1. The item is an essential item and is damaged and cannot be used.

    2. The Commonwealth removalist approves the repair of the item and chooses the repairer.

  2. A member may be eligible for short-term hire of essential items under section 6.5.13.

    See: Part 5 Division 2 section 6.5.13, Hire of replacement household items

6.4.6 No compensation for certain items

  1. A member is not eligible for compensation for loss or damage to any of the following items removed or stored at Commonwealth expense in Australia.

    1. A private motor vehicle.

      Note: Members may obtain private insurance to cover any loss or damage.

    2. A towable item.

      Note: Members may obtain private insurance to cover any loss or damage.

    3. Any item that is outside the removal limits listed for it in section 6.5.10.

      See: Part 5 Division 2 section 6.5.10, Limitations on certain items

    4. Containers of products that have been opened.

  2. A member is not eligible for compensation for loss or damage to any items listed in subsection 6.5.11.3.

    See: Part 5 Division 2 section 6.5.11, Items not removed at Commonwealth expense

6.4.7 Incorrect packing

  1. Compensation is not payable for damage to any item not packed correctly when the packing was not done by the Commonwealth removalist.

    Note: These items are often called "packed by owner" items. The member should seek advice from the removalist about correct ways of packing items into cartons.

    See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 1 section 1.3.12, Commonwealth removalist

  2. Compensation may be payable for items that were not packed correctly if the carton has been damaged during removal by the Commonwealth removalist and this has caused loss or damage to its contents.

  3. The member can seek their own additional insurance cover to protect against loss of or damage to the contents not packed by the removalist.

  4. A member will not be compensated for loss or damage to their furniture and household effects if they have included items listed items 1, 2 or 4 of the table in section 6.5.11 among them.

    See: Part 5 Division 2 section 6.5.11, Items not removed at Commonwealth expense

6.4.8 Insurance for urgently required household items

  1. A member may be reimbursed the cost of insuring urgently required household items when they are removed. The dependant of a deceased member may also be reimbursed.

    Example: Urgently required household items might include clothing, crockery, cutlery and any furniture and effects needed for a baby or an invalid.

    See also: Part 5 Division 2 section 6.5.12, Removal or urgently required items

  2. Both of these conditions must be met.

    1. The household items are removed within Australia at Commonwealth expense.

    2. The member or dependant insures the items for the duration of the removal.

  3. The amount reimbursed is the amount paid for the insurance up to the greater of these two amounts.

    1. $150.

    2. 2% of the sum insured.

    Note: Section 1.6.1 deals with situations where a member's adult dependant is also a member, and they would both be eligible to be reimbursed the cost of insuring urgently required household items when they are removed. Only one of the members is eligible.

    See: Chapter 1 Part 6 section 1.6.1, Dual entitlement – member's adult dependant is also a member

6.4.9 Regional review

  1. A person may apply to the Defence Relocations and Housing Manager for a fresh decision following a local decision made by the Commonwealth removalist in either of the following circumstances.

    1. The person's claim for compensation for loss or damage of items on removal has been refused by the Commonwealth removalist.

    2. The person is not satisfied with the outcome of settlement negotiations with the Commonwealth removalist.

  2. A person may provide additional information in support of a claim rejected by the Commonwealth removalist.

  3. The Defence Relocations and Housing Manager, having regard to any recommendations of and an employee or agent of the Commonwealth removalist, may decide if compensation may be paid under this Part having regard to the additional information provided.

  4. See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 1 clause 1.3.12, Commonwealth removalist

6.4.10 National review

  1. If a person's claim has been refused by a regional review under section 6.4.9, the person may request that the claim be forwarded to the Central office for a national review.

  2. A person must provide additional information to support their claim to the Director of Relocations and Housing for consideration.

  3. The national review committee is made up of the following positions.

    1. A Department of Defence representative from either of the following positions.

      1. Director of Relocations and Housing.

      2. Senior Contract Manager Directorate of Relocations and Housing.

    2. A Commonwealth removalist representative from either of the following positions.

    3. See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 1 section 1.3.12, Commonwealth removalist

      1. National Supplier Manager.

      2. General Manager Toll Relocations.

  4. One of the Department of Defence representatives listed in paragraph 3.b, having regard to the additional information and any recommendations of the committee, may decide to do either of the following.

    1. To give benefits previously refused under section 6.4.9.

    2. Not to provide any additional benefit.

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.



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