news The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has announced that it will be moving its shared services staff to the Canberra suburb of Gungahlin in the year 2014-15.
Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr have inspected potential sites for the accommodation of the ACT offices in Gungahlin. This followed nine registrations of interest being received from the private sector to build the offices. The ACT’s shared services function is responsible for a number of functions for the territorial government, ranging from financial services to IT services, with iTNews reporting that the move will include all of the ACT’s IT shared services staff.
In May 2010, the government had announced that 500 members of its staff would move to Gungahlin. “Today we have announced those staff will be from Shared Services in the Treasury Directorate—moving many of them from the aged accommodation at Callam Offices in Woden” said Gallagher. The construction of the offices is expected to begin late this year or early next year. She also said that this would benefit the residents and businesses of Gungahlin since about 500 jobs are expected to be created through this move.
“The ACT Government employs over 18,000 staff, including nurses, teachers and fire-fighters, and we have a responsibility to ensure their occupational health and safety – including the supply of safe and appropriate office accommodation,” said Barr. The decision to move out of the existing offices was made keeping in mind that the staff would move out of the run down, aged facility to a new, environmentally friendly accommodation that would provide a better working environment.
Gallagher said that this is yet another step in showing the people of Gungahlin the commitment of the Labor government. “This employment hub is another major piece of infrastructure for the people of Gungahlin, delivered by this Labor Government. It comes on top of our state of the art college, our new health centre, CIT interactive learning centre and the fantastic new public library” she said.
The decision has been warmly welcomed by the residents of Gungahlin, according to the ACT Government. “The Gungahlin community through their community council have been advocating for strong employment base in the Gungahlin region for as long as I can remember,” said Gallagher. She added that towards this goal of relocating offices, the public transportation system will also be beefed up in Gungahlin. “We’re not going to put 500 new staff in a location and then not provide necessary infrastructure to support that,” she said.
Gungahlin, situated in the north of Canberra, is equipped to handle this move as it is one of the first sites that have been chosen for the fibre optic rollout by the Federal Government-owned NBN Co. The new network is expected to be in place by December 2012 and will enable speeds that are many times faster than current levels.