A temporary office in Geelong would provide information on “career opportunities” when the Transport Accident Commission shifts to the city, the commission’s minister said yesterday.
John Lenders officially opened the office at 122 Yarra Street as Melbourne staff continued weighing up whether to take tens of thousands of dollars worth of incentives for working in Geelong.
The Public Sector Union has warned many TAC staff were unlikely to stay with the commission after it left Melbourne.
In December State Government ordered the TAC out Melbourne and into Geelong.
The shift would send about 600 jobs to Geelong where staff would work in a new multi-storey building on the Brougham Street site of the city’s historic former Bowtruss building.
The Government estimated the TAC would generate 850 jobs in Geelong and inject $59 million a year into the city’s economy.
Mr Lenders called the temporary Geelong office a “key milestone” in the move to Geelong.
A handful of TAC staff would be on hand to “strengthen ties with local business and the community”, he said.
“The greater Geelong community can now access general information about the TAC and career opportunities locally,” Mr Lenders said.
He believed that the office would also “facilitate a smoother transition” to Geelong for staff and clients.
With the state election a month away, Mr Lenders goaded the Liberal party into offering “whole-hearted support” for the temporary office.
The Liberal party has criticised the Government’s handling of the shift, although local candidates publicly support moving the TAC to Geelong.
The Government plans to begin work on the Geelong TAC building in February and finish in January, 2009.