Move to Ipswich? No, Minister!
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HOUSING and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg described the Bligh Government's soft stance on relocating public servants as a "joke", with government staff still baulking at moving to Icon Ipswich.
Dr Flegg has lamented the previous government's policy of "you don't have to go if you don't want to", as they approached the decentralisation of the public service away from Brisbane.
Two-thirds of the 1200 government workers are to be voluntarily moved to Ipswich - but it seems there are few takers so far.
Dr Flegg said in Estimate Committee hearings the government was still struggling to find volunteers for the Ipswich move.
He told the estimates committee: "We actually still do not have tenants for most of the building out at Ipswich.
"It is an absurdity. It is a joke. That is a significant issue that I inherited when I came in as minister."
The government begins its 15-year lease of Icon Ipswich on October 1 next year.
Earlier this year Premier Campbell Newman said workers "don't want to go" to Ipswich, Housing and Public Works Minister Dr Flegg backed the sentiment last week.
Bundamba and Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller hoped the Newman Government would offer Ipswich-based public servants the opportunity to work in the city they live in.
"There was always an agreement that this would be negotiated. There are literally thousands of public servants that I'm sure if given the chance to work in Ipswich they would," she said.
"The LNP are in government now and it's up to them to make sure those public servants are given that opportunity."
Dr Flegg said Ipswich staff will be moved to Icon Ipswich, but the contract was undermined by a decision to allow staff to opt out of the move.
- The Ipswich Cup attracts more than 20,000 punters and is the social event of the year.
- The upgraded Ipswich motorway has reduced commuter time.
- Ipswich's median house price is $300,000, compared to $505,000 in Brisbane.
- The city's community comes together for the Ipswich Festival street party each year.
- Ipswich Queensland's most charismatic Mayor Paul Pisasale.