THE Commonwealth Government’s decision to undertake a scoping study into the divestment options of six Commonwealth properties has been welcomed by the Property Council of Australia.
The six buildings – John Gorton and Treasury Buildings, East and West Block and Anzac Park East and West – are all located within Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle.
“It is a sensible decision for the Commonwealth Government to divest itself of these ageing assets,” says the Property Council’s ACT Executive Director, Catherine Carter.
“Building management is not a core function of government, and the private sector is better placed to own and manage assets on the government’s behalf.”
The scoping study will consider future ownership and alternative uses for the properties, particularly noting their location, cultural and heritage significance.
“We believe a divestment strategy should extend beyond these six buildings to the entire government portfolio, with the exception being strategically-important assets such as Parliament House and buildings owned by ASIO and the Department of Defence.
“Ageing building infrastructure is a strain on the Commonwealth Government purse strings. The property industry has the expertise and experience to better manage and maintain these buildings, and to ensure the Australian taxpayer gets best bang for its buck,” Ms Carter concluded.