The union representing the public sector including Australian Tax Office workers, the CPSU, is calling on the government to save the Geelong tax office.
This morning the staff at the Geelong ATO office were informed of a 4-week consultation process leading to an office closure, that could result in the loss of 121 jobs. It is important to the recovery of our economy that regional centres such a Geelong keep and grow jobs.
Staff were told that as a result of building occupancy and costs the office was no longer viable. The ATO have made little effort to find other locations or solutions. People in regional areas should not have to leave their hometown to keep their jobs because the department cannot manage a lease.
Staff will have the option to transfer to another ATO office, the closest being metropolitan Melbourne, or seek employment in other Geelong APS agencies, if and where positions are available.
Beth Vincent-Pietsch, CPSU Deputy National Secretary said, “The CPSU is calling on the government to reconsider the closure of the Geelong ATO office. Now is not the time to be cutting jobs from anywhere, but regional centres in particular. The ATO needs all staff on deck to assist with the recovery from the economic impact of COVID-19.”
“If this is about saving on lease arrangements then the ATO should look to achieve this by facilitating remote work opportunities for those ATO staff affected who want to remain at the ATO. The ATO has demonstrated that this can be done very productively and quickly as a result of COVID-19. The CPSU wants to see this offered as a real option for staff who wish to keep their jobs.”.
“The government needs to be investing in public sector regional jobs, not cutting them. The economic impact that this will have on Geelong cannot be understated, this closure will see almost $9 million ripped from the local economy. The CPSU calls on the government to ensure that the agency can keep delivering JobKeeper for Australia, by focussing on keeping their own jobs.”