ABBOTT GOVERNMENT FIDDLES AS CANBERRA OFFICES EMPTY
The release of BIS Shrapnel data on empty office space across Canberra has added to concern about the future of the Belconnen Town Centre if the Department of Immigration is moved elsewhere.
As another week passes without news on the potential move, the BIS Shrapnel data shows Canberra now has one of the highest commercial property vacancy rates in the country.
More than 100,000 square metres of space – enough for over 7,000 workers – is vacant in Commonwealth-leased buildings alone.
This huge oversupply of office space drastically reduces the chances of finding a new tenant for Immigration’s current office complex in Belconnen if the department moves out.
Without new tenants to replace the 4,000 workers who currently occupy the complex and spend money in the town centre, dozens of local businesses are likely to go to the wall.
Under new Department of Finance regulations, the Government must take into account local impacts when making decisions about where to base departments.
Any proper consideration of the harmful impact on Belconnen and its community can only lead to Immigration staying put. So why are Peter Dutton and Mathias Cormann continuing to drag out this process?
After more than 16 weeks of stonewalling, it is time for them to end the uncertainty and commit to keeping the Department of Immigration in Belconnen.
FRIDAY, 19 JUNE 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856