500 public servants bound for Gungahlin
An artist's impression of the winning tender for the new Gungahlin Office Block. Photo: Supplied
More than 500 ACT public servants will be working in the heart of Gungahlin by mid-2015, the territory government has promised.
Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced on Friday that Canberra-based development company the KDN Group had won the tender to build the office block to accommodate the workers.
KDN will build the offices at the corner of Valley Avenue and Gungahlin Place in the rapidly developing town centre.
The government will rent the building from KDN for 15 years and move the bureaucrats from the Shared Service Directorates from various locations around the city to Gungahlin. Details of the lease deal are being kept under wraps.
Mr Barr promised a state-of-the art office block with high energy efficiency and environmental ratings as well as an on-site childcare centre for up to 90 children.
''We're very pleased with the process of going to the marketplace and seeing innovation around a set of criteria including environmental performance and staff amenity,'' the minister said.
''We've got a really fantastic design here and we're looking forward to seeing a world-class building emerge on this site.''
Local community advocates have long campaigned for a large-scale government presence in the northern town centre and Mr Barr said the influx of public servants into the area would provide a big boost to local shops and other businesses.
''It's particularly important to locate staff in the Gungahlin town centre, it will add significantly to the local economy and I'm particularly concerned about daytime expenditure in Gungahlin,'' he said.
''We've seen significant growth in the town centre and we've recognised the need to locate more employment here to make sure the retail sector is viable.
''It has strong weekend trade but also Monday to Friday trade.'' Mr Barr said the government was making efforts to move its workforce out of crumbling ''C and D'' grade office accommodation, much of it built in the 1960s and in poor condition.
''A lot of ACT government staff are working in C and D grade [office] stock,'' he said.
''We need to make that transformation over the next four or five years to lift the quality of ACT government office accommodation.
''Clearly we will be divesting ourselves of some of our office assets and looking to move into new accommodation that is part of the light rail project.''