State Revenue Office’s 2001 shift an ongoing success story

STATE Revenue Commissioner Paul Broderick says the agency’s move to Mount Helen has been an ongoing success for community and government.

Two hundred State Revenue Office (SRO) workers were shifted to Ballarat from Melbourne in 2001 in a government initiative to create regional growth and cost savings.

When announced, the proposal was plagued with controversy and met with resistance from staff.

But Mr Broderick said the SRO today was one of the best-performing revenue organisations in Australia.

“Not only did the move provide a change of lifestyle for our staff, it has also

created valuable local employment opportunities,” he said.

“The benefits of living in regional Victoria are great, not least being the quality of life and a more affordable cost of living.

“Another benefit is the reduced overhead charges, as the cost of floor space (per square metre) in Ballarat is about one-third cheaper than the cost at the Melbourne office, saving government a significant amount of rent each and every year.”

Mr Broderick said SRO’s regional office in Ballarat was much smaller and not comparable in scale to what had been proposed for VicRoads. 

But the majority of employees now lived locally in the region and its surrounds, he said.

Under a Coalition government election promise, announced by Premier Denis Napthine on Sunday, a site adjacent to the Civic Hall is proposed to house a new VicRoads headquarters.

More than 400 jobs would be moved to Ballarat. 

Australian Services Union Victoria branch secretary Lisa Darmanin said it was too

early to say how many VicRoads workers at the existing Kew-based headquarters wanted to relocate to Ballarat.

Mr Broderick said SRO’s move involved a new building, new technology and new training programs, which had boosted their core business capabilities. 

“Operational productivity gains and efficiencies have been reinvested in further enhancing our compliance activities and technological capabilities, which continue to lead to even further benefits to government, taxpayers and staff,” he said.

He said SRO had also forged strong links with Federation University.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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