Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Relocation an extravagant waste of taxpayers money

Download PDFDownload PDF

Media Release G eoff Prosser M.P. FEDERAL MEMBER FOR FORREST

S h a d o w M in is t e r fo r Small Business, H o u s in g a n d Customs.

29 September 1991


The Australian Customs Service is wasting nearly $11 million of taxpayers money to relocate to a new office just 1 kilometre down the road, according to the Federal Opposition.

Shadow Minister for Customs, Geoff Prosser, said today that the Australian Customs Service was in the process of finalising the move of its Melbourne office from the World Trade Centre to the Lexington Building.

"In total the relocation and consultancy fees will cost the taxpayer a staggering $10.8 million.

"In no way can this enormous cost be justified when the new accommodation is within walking distance of their existing premises.

"In addition, the annual rent to be paid by Customs will increase from $3.6 million to around $4.35 million."

Mr Prosser said that questions remain about whether the Australian Customs Service have negotiated the best deal on its new premises.

"Customs are paying around $310 per square metre on their new office when, according to industry sources, the asking rate for office space in the same building is $295 per square metre.

'With office vacancies in Melbourne running at 20% and given that the Australian Customs Service is a large tennant, they should have been able to negotiate a rate at least equivalent to, if not lower than, the industry average."

Mr Prosser said that he had no objection to the Australian Customs Service moving office, but only as long as it would save, rather than cost, the taxpayer money.

"Customs should be looking to decentralise and move out into suburbs such as Box Hill, Cranborne and Frankston where commercial rents are around half those of the city.



. 2 .

"This would have resulted in significant long-term savings to the taxpayer."

Mr Prosser also queried the use of a Canberra based consultancy to evaluate office accomodation proposals.

Ί would have thought that a Melbourne-based firm, with a working knowledge of their own commercial property market would be in the best position to evaluate and recommend appropriate office accommodation."

Mr Prosser said that this indiscriminate and extravagant use of taxpayers money characterised the Hawke government.

"Last week we heard about Minister Button's Austrade extravagances, now we are seeing the same thing from his junior Minister.

ends Canberra


KAREN KUSCHERT (06) 277 4717 (06) 286 5006 (h)