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Wanted: ACT Government DeathStar

By johnboy 14 May 2010 32

In a fascinating move the Chief Minister is asking for ideas on how to build one mega administrative centre to house all of the ACT Public Service.

Presumably this would mean next time there is a horrendous cockup it’s easier to haul the miscreants before the Chief Minister to explain their indolence and incompetence.

Mr Stanhope doesn’t put it quite like that:

Centralising ACT Government services in one sought location would deliver significant benefits for employees and the community, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said today.

“The co-location of Government departments would result in improved workforce efficiencies, increased productivity and bring extra vitality to Civic.

“The consolidation of 17 separate shopfront locations will also result in major improvements to the delivery of ACT Government services for all Canberrans.

The 53,000sqm monolith is going to take over the parking spaces next to the Legislative Assembly.

What’s Your opinion?


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Wanted: ACT Government DeathStar
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Gungahlin Al 4:16 pm 16 May 10

Mr Waffle said :

One reason for this (hopefully) is the fact that a lot of processing for the ACTPS goes on in Civic already (eg finance), and it’s a huge pain in the butt for the departments who AREN’T in Civic, because they have to courier all their invoices and paperwork there, delaying processing for days at a time (which could lead to weeks if there’s something wrong and the invoice has to make its way back to the department etc).

Yep that must be SUCH a pain. As opposed to using the same internal mail delivery services to deliver them from one part of a building to another. Seriously, most depts would have internal mail rooms, and having different buildings would add 2 tenths of stuff all to the impost. It’s not like people in the same building would actually take such paperwork to the other areas themselves.

justin heywood 3:32 pm 16 May 10

Stanhope must have tired of his Arboretum project and is now looking for some other grand folly – at our expense of course. Here’s a thought Jon, there are larger problems with this city than the accommodations of the ACT public service.

“Such a building could result in a reduction of up to 60 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions, when compared with our current situation,” Mr Stanhope said.

I would love to see the imaginative accounting which came up with that figure!

sepi 12:18 pm 16 May 10

The more I think about this the more annoying it is.

Just building more and more massive office blocks in Civic does nothing to make the city more ‘interesting’. In fact all it does is block out the sun, and the previous views of Blk Mtn etc.

The problems with civic are parking, and a lack of connection between the city’s disparate parts, and a lack of green space to congregate.

Garema place desperately needs reviving – Canberra is lovely to sit outside and eat for 3/4 of the year, and Garema place is the best part of civic for that. Unfortunately since it has been blockaded in by the feral bus interchange, and the mega mall, noone goes there.

Northbourne Ave is ridiculous for pedestrians, as it takes two goes of the lights to get across. It cuts the west of the city from the rest. An overpass or underpass is desperately needed.

And the parking is a major issue, no matter how much people try to say ‘oh it is worse in sydney’ or whatever. Sydney at least has trains to get people in and out of the centre.

Stanhope needs to mandate that these buildings contain More parking for the general public, than has been removed, (not just enough spots for the higher level workers within). They should also have to create a front yard effect, for a public cafe with grass (like the one at Environment Australia in PArkes), so people have more options for lunch than sitting at their desk, or paying for a restaurant.
(City hill would be nice for open air lunch venue).

Just building another ACT govt office block is not going to make civic ‘more vibrant’ in any way whatsoever. We need a bit of creativity, and a few brave decisions. sigh.

Ian 3:57 pm 15 May 10

Mr Waffle said :

One reason for this (hopefully) is the fact that a lot of processing for the ACTPS goes on in Civic already (eg finance), and it’s a huge pain in the butt for the departments who AREN’T in Civic, because they have to courier all their invoices and paperwork there, delaying processing for days at a time (which could lead to weeks if there’s something wrong and the invoice has to make its way back to the department etc).

Haven’t they heard of doing all this electronically?

For that matter, why the hell are they doing stuff like payment processing in Civic – surely it’d be more sensible to do this sort of back office work in some cheaper location, eg Mitchell.

WillowJim 12:17 pm 15 May 10

Why do people assume this means less parking?

The ACT Government announced a few years ago it planned to add 6000 new parking spaces by converting the open-air lots into multi-story developments that would also include public parking (can’t find this plan online, though).

The ugliest thing about Civic is those vast expanses of concrete that exist solely for cars, which block out any useful space. It’s a great idea to get rid of them and do something more interesting.

Mathman 10:50 pm 14 May 10

I-filed said :

Looks as though Stanhope owes one of his developer/builder mates one helluva favour!

And just by co-incidence, two carparks are about to be auctioned off in Civic shortly for office development.

cleo 10:33 pm 14 May 10

That’s it will do all my business on line!

WonderfulWorld 9:48 pm 14 May 10

Perhaps they decided upon one place so it was an easy target to blow up a bunch of public servants at once or perhaps so the cops only need to be in one place to look after the angry crowd wanting dole, get off parking tickets and family assistance benefits they are not entitled to?

bd84 9:35 pm 14 May 10

The 17 “shopfronts” is a reference to the some 17 office buildings that ACT Government Departments currently occupy, rather than the Canberra Connect shopfronts.

While there is probably some merit in having most Departments in one building, it’s common in most other states, it still won’t be a one stop shop. Every surface car park in the City is up for sale, sold or flagged for development, if Stanhopeless doesn’t take some action on the major parking problems in the City soon, the City will become bedlam when the people his chiefliness wants to work in his superbuilding can’t get get to work because they have nowhere to park and don’t have anything close to a reliable public transport system.

I’m sure he’s already losing millions of dollars a year in productivity when people don’t get to work on time because of the unreliable public transport system or having to walk 15 minutes from the carpark to the office.

Mr Waffle 6:58 pm 14 May 10

One reason for this (hopefully) is the fact that a lot of processing for the ACTPS goes on in Civic already (eg finance), and it’s a huge pain in the butt for the departments who AREN’T in Civic, because they have to courier all their invoices and paperwork there, delaying processing for days at a time (which could lead to weeks if there’s something wrong and the invoice has to make its way back to the department etc).

housebound 5:34 pm 14 May 10

amarooresident3 said :

Many of the large act gov departments are already located in and around civic anyway so I don’t think it would make much difference to congestion.

Agencies not in Civic: TaMS (MAC house in Braddon, plus smaller outposts all over town), ACTPLA (Dickson), RTA (Dickson), DHCS-part (Belconnen), Registrar-General (Fyshwick), Education (John Overall Officers in Braddon), Health-part (Woden – yep, not all the hosital grounds are dedicated to the hospital). There’s probably more. And the increase in federal departments hasn’t helped with Civic parking, either.

Some smaller agencies have rejected Civic because of parking issues for their clients/customers/stakeholders, and that was a few years ago when you could find somewhere to park.

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