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A New Building to House ACT Public Servants ?

By rommeldog56 - 5 July 2014 26

According to today’s Canberra Times, a new building to house ACT Government public servants maybe built. While its probably never a good time to do these things – there are huge lead times :

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-governments-new-office-block-for-public-servants-gets-green-light-20140704-zsvym.html

Good that they are thinking about all the options (eg. refurbishment of existing, build or lease from pvt sector over 25 years or so).

But, why on earth, does it HAVE to be in the city.  Surely, with videolinks, teleconferencing and other technologies now widely available and used there is no need for the new building to be in Civic ? Why something with a “skybridge” across to the Legislative Assembly ?  Surely a location in Civic with a potential skybridge, is overkill ?

I wonder what the Annual Rates will be on that location in Civic ?

I have absolutely no objection to anyone working in a reasonable standard of accommodation – I just want to see a full cost breakdown published – including into the future years – comparing each of the options.  This should include renovating the existing buildings option of course.  There must be some discipline on the ACT Gov’t – and close scrutiny of the figures to show what ever option is selected – if it goes ahead – is the the best possible value for money for Ratepayers and residents.  This should include in a location outside of Civic too.

Given that this ACT Government seem to regard ACT business, residents and Ratepayers as an unlimited source of revenue to tap into, I would also like to see an assessment of this additional cost, at a time when the Territory’s budget is deep in the red – and heading massively further into the red, on ACT Government fees and charges, including on Annual Rates !

What’s Your opinion?


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26 Responses to
A New Building to House ACT Public Servants ?
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HiddenDragon 11:36 am 10 Jul 14

John Moulis said :

The ACT used to have a single building to house public servants in the 1980s and early ’90s in Constitution Ave which also housed the ACT Legislative Assembly in the early years of self government. It was called The ACT Administration Centre or ACTAC for short. As the number of public servants increased they were housed across Canberra.

There may have been others then, including for Health and Education, but the point about growth in numbers is still very relevant.

John Moulis 11:06 am 10 Jul 14

The ACT used to have a single building to house public servants in the 1980s and early ’90s in Constitution Ave which also housed the ACT Legislative Assembly in the early years of self government. It was called The ACT Administration Centre or ACTAC for short. As the number of public servants increased they were housed across Canberra.

rosscoact 5:20 am 10 Jul 14

rommeldog56 said :

Its hard to plan a new building to house xxx numbers of staff when the lead times to plan/build are 2-3 years or more.

Whether ACT or Fed’s, a lot can happen in that timeframe (especially to the Fed’s – where every budget these days seems to have lots of Machinery of Government changes to Agencies).

Its not uncommon for a building to be either too large or too small for the numbers of staff, when they are actually occupied.

That’s very true but there’s a lot more flexibility in a single large building than there is in 16 small buildings.

This is particularly relevant in a small jurisdiction where changes AAOs which happen every year or two mean that your section or division could be working in a building in which nobody else from your Directorate works. In a single large building this becomes an irrelevancy. In a scatter-gun approach it can add costs and reduce effectiveness for the workforce.

I don’t mind one large building if it means reduced overall costs and an increase in productivity. Hell, ACT public servants deserve decent accommodation like any other worker. Renovation of buildings like Mac house and Callum and even Nara House is just putting (expensive) lipstick on a pig.

However, there does need to be an accompanying improvement in shopfront access and the use of technology to reduce waste.

rommeldog56 9:28 pm 09 Jul 14

davo101 said :

Funny how fast things can change. This was Mr Barr in April:

He said they remained committed to a “hub and spoke” approach for office accommodation, where public servants were spread across the ACT, but the government would look to divest itself of property in Civic.

Well, is it any wonder why so many people have lost faith in politicians ? Still, like PUP, I guess Mr Barr can just say that he changed his mind……..

I still marvel at the ACT Gov’t drawings that don’t show the poles supporting the overhead cables – as in the link.

If it were a private company not disclosing to potential customers, you can imagine what would happen re Fair Trading, possible trade practices issues, etc.

davo101 3:17 pm 09 Jul 14

Funny how fast things can change. This was Mr Barr in April:

He said they remained committed to a “hub and spoke” approach for office accommodation, where public servants were spread across the ACT, but the government would look to divest itself of property in Civic.

rommeldog56 12:59 pm 08 Jul 14

Its hard to plan a new building to house xxx numbers of staff when the lead times to plan/build are 2-3 years or more. Whether ACT or Fed’s, a lot can happen in that timeframe (especially to the Fed’s – where every budget these days seems to have lots of Machinery of Government changes to Agencies).

Its not uncommon for a building to be either too large or too small for the numbers of staff, when they are actually occupied.

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