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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

New Home for Environment Department


10 October 1997
(118/97)

Major efficiency gains and significant savings to the taxpayer will result from a decision to relocate the new Department of the Environment to the refurbished Administrative Building in Parkes ACT.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has announce that the move will be completed by the end of 1998.

The co-location of the Department will bring together, for the first time, staff currently spread over seven buildings in Barton, Civic and Belconnen.

Senator Hill says the centralisation of activities will further strengthen the Department's performance.

"The Department has already undergone a major restructuring under my directions. The centralisation is the next major step in achieving a dynamic, integrated organisation dedicated to providing sound advice and delivering the Government's environment policies.

"It is also consistent with the Prime Minister's decision for the Department to concentrate on its core environmental functions."

Senator Hill says there are also sound financial reasons behind the move.

"The business case for the re-location is based on independent analysis of the options available, including remaining in nearby buildings in Civic. Savings over existing lease costs of up to $11 million (over a 10 year lease period) are likely to be achieved by the move.

"The decision to re-locate is based on a sound accommodation strategy and this has been endorsed by the Commonwealth Property Committee, a body established by the Government to review major fitout and leasing proposal. The Committee concluded that the proposal to move to the refurbished Administrative Building was competitively priced and would achieve the Department's corporate objectives to a high degree."

Senator Hill says the move is also consistent with the Commonwealth's Property Principles, and the Commonwealth's intention to retain and utilise this significant heritage building.

Media contact:
Matt Brown, Senator Hill, 02 6277 7640; 0419 693 515
David Anderson, Department, 02 6274 1555

Commonwealth of Australia