800 empty desks! Time running out to fill Icon Tower
ICON Ipswich could have 800 empty desks when the Newman Government begins its lease on October 1 as negotiations to move public servants linger on.
Not a single bureaucrat has agreed to move from city offices in Brisbane to Icon Ipswich, with negotiations not expected to be finalised until the end of August.
It leaves the civil servants with less than a month to prepare for the move west.
The State Government is yet to tell the public servants which departments are involved in the move to Ipswich, fearing it may spark a backlash from staff.
The Public Service Commission would not tell the Queensland Times which three government departments would take up the lease.
Icon Ipswich is expected to be home to 1200 public servants, with 400 of those already based in Ipswich.
A Public Service Commission spokesman said Brisbane-based entities were at present determining which of their work units would move.
The delay has been criticised by Together Union president Vivienne Doogan.
She said the delays showed the contempt the Newman Government held for public servants.
"The question you have to ask is, why have they left it so late? They have known when the building was going to be ready and when they can move in," she said.
"Why haven't they worked out which work groups are going to come out."
Ipswich MP Ian Berry said the move was vital to provide a much-needed economic boost to the city.
"I've been lobbying the government about moving ahead with this project because it is a massive investment in the Ipswich economy and frontline public servant jobs for Ipswich," he said.
The cost of the Newman Government's lease of the building has also been closely guarded information. A Department of Housing and Public Works spokesman refused to reveal what the State Government would pay to lease the building.
"The rental rate for the state's lease is commercial-in-confidence in accordance with the Agreement for Lease with the developer," the spokesman said.