I have been asked to contribute some guest posts for the RiotACT. My first post continues the push for the Commonwealth to adopt a more consultative approach if it wants to move departments around the city. Here’s an excerpt:
The Federal Government is by far the largest employer in the ACT. Precisely because of these large potential impacts, the local governments of most cities with a single major employer remain in constant conversation about employment and investment decisions. Yet the ACT Government remains strangely disengaged about this whole affair, and appears to be just hoping that things work out.
The National Capital Plan can be used to protect workers against the proposed move by the Department of Immigration from Belconnen, and any future proposals:
My suggestion is to include requirements that mandate consultation and planning to mitigate impact any time more than 250 federal public service employees are moved outside a “Defined Office Employment Centre” (ie town centres and the airport) within six months. This process must include, at a minimum, discussions with the ACT Chief Minister and the affected community.
I asked the National Capital Authority at their Annual Public Forum on Thursday what they were planning to do to respond to the potential move of the Department of Immigration out of Belconnen. Specifically, how they intended to make it so that Canberra wouldn’t be left in this situation in the future.
I wasn’t very impressed with their response. Apparently Belconnen is in the Parliamentary Triangle now?
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is considering moving its 4000+ staff out of Belconnen. This would be devastating for Belconnen businesses and residents, and add huge amounts of traffic to our roads. We can’t let this happen!