Minister dismisses claim Icon project is struggling

Aerial images of Icon Ipswich.
Aerial images of Icon Ipswich. Contributed

THE State Government has scotched reports it is struggling to fill Icon Ipswich with public servants and says the program is on track.

The Financial Review reported the government was trying to sublease office space in the project's tower to companies as part of its cutbacks in the public service.

But a spokesman for the Department of Housing and Public Works said it had "committed to lease 16,000 square metres of office accommodation within the new nine-storey building".

"There are currently no plans for subleasing space in the Icon building," the spokesman said.

"The lease and program for relocation of public servants is on track and expected to occur late 2013."

Mayor Paul Pisasale said last night he'd had discussions with Housing and Public Works Minister Tim Mander and Premier Campbell Newman.

"They both gave a commitment to Ipswich that nothing has changed in relation to Icon Ipswich," he said.

"Campbell said he wants to work together on it and said he'll be coming to Ipswich to have a look at the project for himself."

Campbell said he wants to work together on it and said he'll be coming to Ipswich to have a look at the project for himself.

The project was developed by Ipswich City Properties (ICP) and Leighton Properties before the tower was sold to Cromwell Properties. ICP chairman Paul Tully said it no longer had an interest in the building, having sold it to Cromwell.

"Subleasing is permitted after practical completion of the building in September but that is a matter to be negotiated between the State Government and the building owner, Cromwell," he said.

Leighton Properties development manager Bradley Norris said the tower was progressing well.

"The building structure is currently being poured up to level eight, with the forming of level nine expected to commence by end of January," Mr Norris said.

"The concrete structure of the building should be completed by early March with practical completion still targeted for September 13. "The facade is starting to be installed as the building structure is completed."

Last September, a Department of Housing and Public Works spokesman said $36 million had been allocated for office fit-out and to relocate government functions.

"The allocated budget is intended to cover all the costs associated with fit-out and relocation of staff to the new premises," the spokesman said.

Topics:  department of housing and public works, financial review, icon ipswich, public servants



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