Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Date: Monday, 11 May 2015
The Government continues to ensure that the Commonwealth's property portfolio is appropriate to its expected needs and maximises value for taxpayers.
In February we commissioned a scoping study into the potential divestment of six Commonwealth properties in Canberra.
After careful consideration, the Government has decided to approach the market to test investor interest in four of these properties:
- East Block;
- West Block;
- Anzac Park East; and
- Anzac Park West (including the adjoining restaurant building).
These properties will require varying degrees of improvement works.
Anzac Park East is in a particular state of disrepair.
The Government is open to considering other potential uses for these properties taking into account what could be appropriate for these areas.
Divestment will not impact in any way on heritage protections and planning controls for properties in the parliamentary triangle.
The Government has decided it will retain ownership of the John Gorton Building and the Treasury Building at this time.
The Government is also working to maximise value from Commonwealth property leases in the ACT by ensuring surplus vacant office space is promptly filled by agencies with similar requirements and upcoming lease expiry dates.
Previously individual agencies were responsible for managing their own large vacant leases. These leases will now be considered at a whole-of-Government level to maximise the efficient use of leases across Government.
This approach has the potential to save an estimated $200 million over ten years.
The long-term accommodation needs of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and local impacts will be considered as part of this review.
For Minister Cormann - Karen Wu - 0428 350 139
For Parliamentary Secretary McCormack - Rachel Thompson - 0427 892 500