The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, along with the Australian Electoral Commission, are quickly trying to find a new home in Canberra's central business district after their planned London Circuit location fell through.
The Canberra Times revealed in August that developers had pulled the plug on the London Quarter Project - an 11-storey building set to house the two agencies, along with the Department of Education, on the corner of London Circuit and Northbourne Avenue.
According to documents published to the federal government's public tenders site in November, the electoral commission and DEWR are hoping to fast-track procurement for new office accommodation, with their existing leases across Canberra set to run out between 2025 and 2027.
The agencies are willing to share up to three buildings with a combined floor plan of 52,000 to 60,000 square metres.
Alternatively, the electoral commission is looking for its own office building between 13,000 to 15,000 square metres in size, while DEWR is after one or two buildings close together that total 39,000 to 45,000 square metres.
The documents call for an initial lease of at least 15 years, plus two five-year options to extend.
The agencies have a number of unique requirements for the spaces. For DEWR, that includes at least 200 square metres of space to convert into a broadcast studio.
On-site childcare services could also be on the cards for DEWR employees, with the department inviting respondents to explore in their proposals what it would look like to include childcare facilities on the premises.
The agency makes it clear, though, that the Commonwealth would not own or operate such a service.
Meanwhile, the electoral commission wants 170 square metres of space to fit out a "command centre", and another 16 square metres for a media room.
High-quality end of trip facilities like showers, lockers and bike storage are also on the list of wants, with the agencies stipulating the need for cis-gendered, accessible and gender-neutral facilities.
As this masthead reported in August, Walker Corporation - the developer behind the original London Quarter project - scrapped the office development after the National Capital Authority requested the project be revised by "height, size and scale".
The employment department had hoped that the new development, and its $150 million fit-out, would draw more people to the office and boost the agency's poor 50 per cent occupancy rate.
But Walker told government agencies that "ongoing delays" in obtaining a works approval for the site from the planning authority had led to its decision to back out of the project.
The electoral commission and DEWR aren't the only agencies set to relocate in the coming years.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade shared in June that it was looking to establish a new office near Parliament House before mid-2026.
Canberra-based Australian Taxation Office staff will also move into a new office on Barton's Sydney Avenue, complete with a $125.8 million fit-out.
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