Tasmanian Government to fund VHA relocation

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Tasmanian Government to fund VHA relocation

No more sunshine for Brisbane customer service staff.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has announced plans to consolidate its Brisbane customer service function roles into Tasmania from June 2010.

With the help of a financial assistance package from the Tasmanian Government, the mobile carrier formed by the local merger of Vodafone and Hutchison will see all customer service function roles served from Tasmania.

The Tasmanian call centre currently houses 400 workers, which the Tasmanian Government said it had "secured" from being made redundant.

The Premier of Tasmania, David Bartlett, said this would enable VHA to bring its "customer service operations under the one roof".

The Tasmanian call centre, which currently services Vodafone's four million customers, will be expanded to additionally service 3 mobile's two million customers.

Currently, 3 mobile customers get their calls answered from a customer service facility based in Brisbane.

"There are approximately 250 employees based at our facility in Toowong, Brisbane, involved in a range of activities including customer service functions, and financial roles such as credit and revenue collection," a Hutchison spokesman told iTnews.

It was unknown how many of these workers will be made redundant or asked to relocate to Tasmania.

Bartlett said the state's financial assistance package would enable a further 100 jobs to be created in the apple isle, as well as fund the relocation and re-training of employees.

"Our successful negotiations with Vodafone have seen that company choose Tasmania over other states to continue their expansion," he said.

Once the relocation is complete, the Brisbane facility will become VHA's financial operations centre for credit and revenue collection.  

Bartlett said had he not offered the financial assistance package to VHA, 400 Tasmanians would be out of work.

He said that full details of the financial assistance package would be released when finalised.

Nigel Dews, CEO of VHA said the company chose Kingston as the base for its customer service operations "because we have the expertise, scale and resources available to service the needs of our customers."

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