Page 116 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 11 February 2015

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Another Immigration worker said:

My wife and I formerly worked in Civic, when we lived in Holt. We came to realise that working within the Belconnen precinct was more suitable for us as a family, both in terms of dead time on the road in the morning and evening just transiting between work, school and childcare, and also in supporting the local community and businesses. Thus we sought out working positions in Belconnen to bring these aspects together.

We have since solidified our position in Belconnen by taking out a deeper mortgage and moving to Scullin. We did this because our kids are happy and the proximity to our workplace and amenities suits us. I am concerned that a move away from Belconnen will place additional load on local roads, and I will be forced into finding car parking where I can currently walk to work.

This constituent said:

Moving Immigration out of the Belconnen Town Centre will detrimentally impact the quality of life for so many people. Personally I choose to work at Immigration because of the proximity to my children’s school and to our home. As a part-time employee I have been able to achieve a healthier work/life balance due to a much shorter commute, easier parking options when arriving after 9am and having the convenience of a recently updated shopping mall within a 5-min walk.

I believe consideration should also be given to the surrounding local small businesses whom are so reliant on the patronage of thousands of Immigration workers. Finally, given the current economic climate how can this government truly justify the huge costs and wastage that would result from such a move?

Another said:

If we are supposed to be one big department, surely there is scope for us all to amalgamate in Belconnen, with ABS downsizing and Unisys taking up space in the purple building! Surely it’s better for us to be separated by one road, rather than by several suburbs.

I have also been out doorknocking small businesses in Belconnen. There is universal condemnation of this proposal to relocate the department. Butchers, accountants, dentists, restaurants, fast food outlet franchisees, beauticians, shop owners, grocers and mechanics are all worried about the impact of this change on their businesses. It is a double whammy—a double whammy on top of the pain which has already been inflicted on Canberra by these chaotic Liberals.

Madam Assistant Speaker, for all the reasons that I have outlined, it makes sense for the Liberals to keep the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Belconnen. I ask members to support this motion.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.16), by leave: I move:

(1) Omit paragraph (1)(a).

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