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Work begins on new WorkSafe headquarters at former Dalgety & Co building

GREG DUNDAS
GEELONG ADVERTISER
6 May 2016
Finance minister Robin Scott with WorkSafe CEO Clare Amies, Quintessential Equity’s Shane Quinn and MP Christine Couzens at the new WorkSafe building site Picture: Glenn Ferguson

 

THE demolition gear is moving into place, with work about to start on Geelong’s new 44m high WorkSafe building.

The city’s tallest office building will sprout from the historic facade of the Dalgety & Co building at 1 Malop St, opposite Johnstone Park.

Featuring 12 floors above ground and two below, the $120 million building will be home to 700 WorkSafe staff members in little more than two years.

“We’re setting our sights on June, 2018, we’ll definitely be moved in and working from Geelong,” WorkSafe chief Clare Amies said.

Ms Amies, finance minister Robin Scott and Geelong MP Christine Couzens were among those to visit the construction site on Thursday, while in Melbourne hundreds of WorkSafe staff and their families learned more about Geelong at information sessions hosted by business leaders and residents from the region.

Demolition of empty buildings behind the Dalgety site will start next week, along with structural work to protect the historic facade.

Mr Scott said the WorkSafe building would be “powerful symbol of renewal”.

“We’re a step closer to breathing more life into Geelong by bringing hundreds of new jobs and transforming the CBD,” he said.

Ms Couzens said the project would create construction jobs.

 “Avalon (Airport)’s future is safe, the WorkSafe headquarters is coming: we’re putting planes and cranes in the sky for Geelong,” she said.
An artist’s impression of the building.

More than 150 WorkSafe jobs will be moved to Geelong later this year, based at the Transport Accident Commission headquarters in Brougham St, until the new building is complete.

While some of the agency’s staff will decide not to relocate or commute to Geelong, those who do will receive a range of financial inducements.

The Geelong Advertiserrevealed in February those incentives were likely to put more than $100,000 in the pocket of some workers.

Ms Amies has enjoyed providing her staff with more details about Geelong, the office they’ll work in, and seeing work on it start.

 “The announcement of the building was very exciting for our employees. They got to see where they’re going to be working, got to feel what it’s going to be like,” she said.

“We’ve had people coming down experiencing Geelong and working from our temporary office at the TAC building, and that’s building more and more excitement across the organisation.

“We’re looking at supporting our employees to make decisions around fully relocating if they want to buy and live in Geelong. We’ve already got a number of employees signed up and looking for homes.”

Some of Geelong’s tallest buildings:
• St Marys Basilica: 63m
• The Mercure: 27m
• Simonds Stadium light towers: 73m
• Epworth Geelong hospital at Waurn Ponds: 41m
• Geelong Library and Heritage Centre: 35.5m
• Geelong Hospital: 58.4m
• WorkSafe building*: 44m

*Yet to be built

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