The ACT Government will relocate all its IT shared services staff to new offices in the Canberra suburb of Gungahlin after determining that their workplace does not meet occupational health and safety requirements.
The Australian Capital Territory Government revealed plans to establish a new 7,000-square-metre office block in Gungahlin last May. It called for registrations of interest from the industry in November 2011.
ACT chief minister Katy Gallagher said this week that the Government had received nine submissions from property developers and would start building by early next year.
By 2014-15, the Government planned to accommodate 500 staff from the Treasury Directorate’s shared services unit at the new building.
Many of those staff would move from the Government’s ageing Callum Offices in Woden in Canberra’s south, Gallagher said.
"At this early stage, it is envisioned that all of shared services ICT will move to Gungahlin," a spokesman for the minister told iTnews.
"That includes all ICT staff and non-ICT staff, such as administration and policy people, HR, Finance etc.
"This area was chosen because staff are currently housed in an old building that does not meet occupational health and safety requirements and is earmarked to be sold by the Government.
"The Government has a responsibility to workers to ensure their working environment is safe and appropriate."
The shared services unit has a total of 900 staff who provide publishing, records management and mail room, finances, human resources, procurement and ICT services to all Territory Government agencies.
A source within the ICT division said “central groups” like planning, network support, desktop software packaging and helpdesk could be relocated.
But staff supporting specific organisations like Health and Education would likely stay in their current offices, the source speculated, highlighting the unit’s preference for co-locating those teams.
Gungahlin was chosen as a second-release site for the Federal Government’s National Broadband Network in July 2010. Rollout began last October, with residents expected to connect to the network by Christmas this year.
Although Minister Gallagher has made no mention of the broadband network in her announcements about the new office so far, her spokesman said there were "synergies with Gungahlin becoming an NBN build spot".
"We will certainly be investigating how we can utilise this fact, as we begin to build the building," he said, noting that specific ICT requirements had not yet been determined for the new office.
iTnews’ source speculated that the NBN was unlikely to have been a major factor in relocating ICT Services, because the division primarily provided services through an intranet.
Updated at 10am on 10 January with additional information from Minister Gallagher's office.