Government expected to move into 1 Bligh Street by the end of the year

Government expected to move into 1 Bligh Street by the end of the year
Government expected to move into 1 Bligh Street by the end of the year

The pending move of federal cabinet offices to the sustainable development at 1 Bligh Street is set to cost $21 million, according to the Department of Finance and Deregulation.

The department has released details of the proposed fit-out of the new offices after Special Minister of State Gary Gray confirmed the move in October 2011.

The DoFD plan to lease floors 19, 20 and 21 of the 30-level building – a total of 4,891 square metres.

The move still needs to be approved by the public works committee.

The new premises will serve as the offices for the Prime Minister, cabinet, ministers, office holders, Opposition Leader and visiting senators and members.

The building has been marketed as being environmentally friendly, featuring a 135-metre-high 16-metre diameter atrium, a double-skin climate-controlling glass façade, energy-efficient air-conditioning, its own energy generation mechanisms, solar panels and water recycling facilities. It has been awarded a six-star green star rating, the first high-rise building in Australia to get the rating.

The Sydney Commonwealth Parliament Offices are currently at 70 Phillip Street, but the building is said to be too old and of too poor condition to continue leasing. It was built 30 years ago and served the Hawke government.

“Due to the age and condition of the accommodation, as well as inherent faults that cannot be overcome by a refit, it was considered undesirable to sign a new long-term lease on the premises,” the DoFD report says.

“Other factors driving the decision to relocate include the safety, security, parking, access and amenity of the building, none of which are appropriate for the required use.”

It was suggested in March that terrorism-related parking restrictions caused headaches for parliamentarians.

“It is no longer possible for vehicles to wait kerbside for parliamentarians who are exiting from the building. This leads to situations where parliamentarians wait on the street while their COMCAR drives around the block,” the report says.

The building features a commercial childcare centre on the lower ground floor and has space for 270 bicycles.

The preliminary layouts were prepared by Davenport Campbell.

Works on the site are due to commence in September with a move-in date of December this year.

The Dexus-owned building has been the subject of comment over its office plate design, restricted harbour views and premium rents.

The building has been limited in finding tenants given the high cost of rent. It cost $629 million to build. As of March it was 82% tenanted.

The building provides 42,000 square metres of net lettable area over 27 levels.

It was officially opened in August 2011 by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Public submissions to the leasing inquiry closed April 24.

The committee will hold a public hearing on the proposed fit-out on May 3 in Sydney.



Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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