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.”