Plan to free 1500 public servants from city commute

 

UP to 1500 public servants will be freed from their city commute and allowed to work closer to home under a plan to rebalance the public service in a post-COVID world.

Treasurer Cameron Dick will today announce new flexibility will allow workers to be based at Ipswich, Logan, Robina or Maroochydore in a move that's also expected to revitalise those suburban centres.

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Mr Dick said the government was taking "a fresh look at the way we work" following months of working-from-home requirements for thousands of Queenslanders.

UP to 1500 public servants will have the chance to ditch their commute and work closer to home under a new Palaszczuk Government policy.
UP to 1500 public servants will have the chance to ditch their commute and work closer to home under a new Palaszczuk Government policy.

The Treasurer will make the announcement as he gives an update on the government's savings and debt plans later today.

He told The Courier-Mail Safe Work Australia's advice that offices must provide 4sq m per person and physical distancing of 1.5m would reduce the capacity of many office workplaces.

"We're also aware of the risks posed by crowded public transport," Mr Dick said.

"In that environment, the Palaszczuk Government is expanding the role of our Distributed

Work Centres - government office spaces which allow workers to be based at Ipswich,

Logan, Robina or Maroochydore instead of the Brisbane CBD.

"Working closer to home means more time spent with your family and less time commuting."

The new policy will also prevent public service positions being reallocated into the Brisbane CBD from regional or outer urban areas.

To apply, staff need to speak to their department or agency managers.

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick. Picture: News Corp/Attila Csaszar
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick. Picture: News Corp/Attila Csaszar

The office space will be provided in Distributed Work Centres, which the Queensland Government created from underused government property in major transport corridors in a project that began in 2016.

Around 250 workers already use the spaces, many splitting their week between their suburban and city offices.

Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said the centres were an ideal solution to the many challenges of doing business in a post-COVID world.

"Less crowded offices and public transport improves community safety while increasing the

amount of time Queenslanders can spend with family, also providing more customers of

businesses near the Distributed Work Centres," he said.

"But there's no reason that workplace should be further from home than necessary.

"For residents of the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich and Logan, Distributed Work

Centres provide the opportunity to do the same job, but much closer to home.

Originally published as Plan to free 1500 public servants from city commute



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