16 May 2018

First Commonwealth agency is moving to Gungahlin  

| Ian Bushnell
Join the conversation

The Defence Housing Australia offices in Barton. Photo: Google maps.

The Gungahlin Town Centre will be laying out the welcome mat for the first Commonwealth agency to relocate there, with the announcement that Defence Housing Australia (DHA) and its 290 staff will move from its present offices in Barton.

Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester and Liberal Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja, announced the move today (Wednesday), saying DHA had been selected on the basis that it was the right sized agency, had clients in the region and had leases expiring soon.

“As the housing provider for the Australian Defence Force, DHA offices need to be located in areas where staff can best serve the needs of Defence personnel and their families,” Mr Chester said.

“The relocation will see approximately 290 DHA staff move to offices in the Gungahlin Town Centre, delivering a boost for the local economy and having positive flow-on effects for the wider community.”

The process will begin by DHA going to market this year to assess potential sites for tenancy.

Gungahlin Community Council President Peter Elford said it was tremendous news, and something the GCC had been striving for for many years, and something that would have a really positive effect on the Town Centre and the Gungahlin community at large.

“If you look at the impact of the ACT Government moving its shared services operation out to Gungahlin, that’s been really positive and they’ve had a great experience in moving out there,” he said.

Mr Elford said the agency was a natural fit for the area with a lot of Defence people and Defence housing already in Gungahlin.

Senator Seselja said that with over 22,000 households now in the area and growing strongly, this firm commitment was a vote of confidence in Gungahlin’s economic future.

“I have been fighting for the town centres in Canberra. I fought for the Department of Social Services to remain in Tuggeranong with a new building, for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to remain in Belconnen and now, we have the first major move of Commonwealth agency to Gungahlin,” Senator Seselja said.

“Canberra is designed on a town centre model, and we know that the success of our local town centres is significantly impacted by the locations of Government Department offices, as key anchor tenants in the capital. With Gungahlin’s expanding population the time is right for this kind of commitment.”

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

What happened to the Department of Immigration who had a big fitout above the mall? Surely that was the first Department in Gungahlin?

Queanbeyanite7:16 am 18 May 18

Should have moved to Townsville where the soldiers are. Another lot could have gone to Wodonga. Now the NBN is rolled out, there is no reason for any office worker to be forced into expensive residential housing ponzies and long commutes.

Plenty of Defence housing in Canberra too. I’m guessing here but would say more than any other city including the likes of Townsville.

Dorinda Lillington9:57 pm 16 May 18

Great decision. More government offices in Gungahlin is the right move. Should have done this earlier as per the ALL the other town centres then we wouldn’t have needed the light rail and be up to our eyeballs in debt.

Actually we aren’t up to our eyeballs in debit with light rail, didn’t you hear the rate rises paid for it. Which also isn’t true but let’s not let truth get in the way of anything.

Now frankly I have no issue with this move but re your comments about other town centres they all came from the era of where we would all live work and play in our own little towns. And I gather you comment about light rail is inferring you believe those who work at DHA would all live in Gungahlin. But frankly that planning belief has proven to be a massive failure people did work outside the town centre where they worked, shock horror hey? So as a reason for putting them there I don’t think it is valid. But if the office space is the right price and the DHA needed new offices then why not. And certainly better than propping up snow town (aka the airport) like other larger agencies are doing.

Capital Retro1:21 pm 16 May 18

Gee, they will be able to drive to City, use the “park and ride” and catch the tram to Gungahlin.

Where is the park and ride in Canberra City again?

290 people don’t need light rail. 200 cars off northbourne.

bringontheevidence2:53 pm 17 May 18

Except that most of those workers were previously in Barton, and would probably live on the south side.

I’m betting they live all over Canberra. I work in Barton and it seems to be an even mix.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.