The ESA’s empty offices

johnboy 9 July 2009 4

The Canberra Times brings word of another egregious stuff up by the ACT Government.

It seems that $180,000 is being paid every month to lease seven buildings at Fairbairn for the Emergency Services Agency. Of which one is being used, one is being refurbished, and the other five are doing nothing at all.

So far $7 million has been paid. Best of all are Simon Corbell’s efforts to fix the problem:

    Last July Emergency Services Minister Simon Corbell told The Canberra Times he would look to renegotiate the agreement to reduce the cost.

    Since then the ACT Government has paid about $2 million in rental fees and seen the monthly rent rise.

UPDATE: Brendan Smyth has presented a laundry list of complaints about the ESA:

    — a lengthy delay in developing a new headquarters (HQ) site at Fairbairn;
    — now proposing to relocate some HQ functions, which were the reason for selecting Fairbairn as the HQ in the first place;
    — paying rent at Fairbairn including empty buildings, totalling $6.34 million since December 2006;
    — proposing to return six of these buildings to the Canberra Airport;
    — a sequence of budget overruns of millions of dollars;
    — a damning report into the management of the ACT Ambulance Service by the ACT Auditor-General;
    — the closure of various ambulance stations;
    — the fiasco of the failed FireLink communications system with $5 million being wasted when the project was cancelled in 2007; and
    — the failure to commit funds to relocate and replace the Rural Fire Service facility at Tidbinbilla.

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4 Responses to The ESA’s empty offices
Mr Waffle Mr Waffle 6:47 pm 09 Jul 09

I’ve heard that the building meant for servicing fire trucks can’t physically fit them, which is why that particular building isn’t being used….

ant ant 12:43 pm 09 Jul 09

Why would ACT Emergency services need multiple buildings? I assume this is the admin/central office type setup? One sees a lot fire and other passenger vehicles with lights and stuff on, or logos, heading out there.

It’s a good spot, not much at Fairbairn these days (Bureau of Met. and the Science bit of Defence, from memory), but why would they need more than one building I wonder.

SheepGroper SheepGroper 12:18 pm 09 Jul 09

Brindabella Business Park has a few buildings standing empty, like which looked completed at the end of last year. Snow would be the building owner, wouldn’t he? So hopefully the offices that are completed but empty are eating into the profits gained from the empty but leased Fairbairn buildings.

frontrow frontrow 12:16 pm 09 Jul 09

Who owns the buildings? John Curtin House Limited?

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