ATO staff displaced by boss's lofty office plans

Australia's top taxman, Chris Jordan, is reaching for the skies, building himself a plush office suite with sweeping westerly views at the top of the ATO's central Sydney office tower.

But up to 50 rank-and-file tax workers who are being kicked out of their office space on level 20 of the Latitude East building are less than elated about the renovations.

The debt-collection workers are among 240 departmental staff from Latitude East who are looking to the west, but only because they are being forced to move to Parramatta 25 kilometres away.

The cash-strapped tax office announced on Wednesday it would offer 100 more voluntary redundancies to the thousands of workers clamouring for golden handshakes.

The department wants to cut 900 jobs this year.


Do you know more? Send your confidential tips to

The new high-rise digs will feature office accommodation for Mr Jordan, second commissioner Andrew Mills, and their assistants, as well as video-conference and meeting rooms.

It is understood ? space will have to be made on the top floor of the Goulburn Street complex and ? up to 50 staff from the ATO's service delivery branch have been given their marching orders so work can begin.

Unions are seething over the reshuffle. Australian Services Union organiser Jeff Lapidos has accused the commissioner of a blatant double standard in asking his staff to move offices to cut costs while investing in new space for himself.

"He talks the talk but he's not prepared to walk the walk," Mr Lapidos said.

An ATO spokeswoman said Latitude East needed to be rearranged to accommodate the influx of workers from the Hurstville office that is closing this year.

"ATO Latitude East accommodation is being updated as a result of a number of factors, including the closure of our Hurstville office," the spokeswoman said. "We need to accommodate staff relocating after that closure."

The spokeswoman said the commissioner would not be making Sydney his full-time work base but would continue to jet between the harbour city and Canberra.

Fairfax Media revealed last month that the 240 officials – who work in account services, debt and service delivery support units – were told they would be heading west by October, with no redundancy payouts available to those who did not want to shift.

Meanwhile, there will be unexpected pre-Easter good news for about 100 ATO staff who were disappointed recently when their bosses told them they could keep their jobs.

The tax office has found some extra money to fund redundancies and a number of "drop-outs" from the first round of packages means up to 100 workers from across the operation will be offered a golden handshake.

The office realised in February that almost 10 per cent of its workforce wanted to quit their jobs when 2187 tax officials applied for just 500 redundancies.

The lucky 100 will be told by their bosses about their reversal of fortune on Thursday.


Comment are now closed