Media Release - Concern over future of ATO regional offices - 20 January, 2014

Today I issued a media release about  internal Tax Office discussions regarding the potential closure of regional office across four states. I raise doubts about the Coalition's commitment to regional jobs.

Shadow Assistant Treasurer

Media Release



WRITING APPEARS TO BE ON THE WALL FOR CLOSURE OF REGIONAL ATO CENTRES




Pressure is on the Abbott Government to explain if it's committed to regional Australia after reports that the Australian Tax Office is likely to quit 10 regional sites across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.


The ATO has flagged that it’s looking to close offices in Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Mackay,  Cairns, Port Macquarie, Grafton, Orange, Sale, Bendigo, and Launceston.



The regional centres have been run down for some years making the ATO’s decision appear a fait accompli.


Eighty staff and countless small businesses will be affected by this decision.


It’s a blow for regional communities and those families with ATO workers who face being forced to uproot and move to bigger centres or be sacked. This is no way to acknowledge hard-working regional teams.


The Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss claims to have a passion for regional Australia.  But what is the National Party getting out of the Coalition partnership if it can’t defend and keep regional services and regional jobs?



The ATO is a national organisation with national responsibilities. Does the Coalition value the ATO regional network or not?


The ATO’s Bunderberg office shut its doors earlier this month. It sets a bad trend for regional Australia amid increasing insecurity in the public service under Tony Abbott.


ENDS






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