PROJECT TETRIS ADDS TO UNCERTAINTY FOR IMMIGRATION
News this week that the Abbott Government is looking to fill over 30,000 square metres of vacant public service office space through ‘Project Tetris’ has only increased concern that the Department of Immigration will be moved out of Belconnen.
Parliament’s Public Works Committee has been told the Commonwealth plans to fill this space by moving agencies between premises and delaying new leases.
The leases on four of the office buildings in Immigration’s current complex at Belconnen expire in February 2016. Since putting the tender out for new facilities in October last year, the Abbott Government has resolutely refused to say whether it will keep the department in the spot it has occupied since the 1970s.
In May, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann announced the Government would now take ‘local impacts’ into consideration when making decisions about future public service leases. But this runs counter to the objective of Project Tetris, which is to cram as many public servants into existing office space as possible.
With such conflicting and concerning signals coming from this Government, it is time for Mathias Cormann and Peter Dutton to answer two simple questions:
- Is the Department of Immigration staying in Belconnen?
- When will you end the uncertainty for local workers and small businesses by announcing a decision?
Nintendo’s Mario and Luigi could have done a better job of managing this procurement process than these ministers have to date.
FRIDAY, 7 AUGUST 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856