Janine Freeman MLALabor Member for Mirrabooka

Your local Labor MP

$747,000 forked-out on empty government offices and car bays

Tuesday 23 Aug 2011

Shadow Housing Minister Mark McGowan said 45 offices have sat empty under Mr Barnett's watch, costing taxpayers over $707,000 while almost $40,000 has been spent on empty car bays for public servants.


"At a time when household fees and charges have been going through the roof and State debt is blowing-out, it is unacceptable for such a huge amount to be spent on rent for unoccupied buildings," Mr McGowan said.


The worst examples include:

  • $67,308 spent by the Forest Products Commission on empty offices and car bays over a period of  six weeks;
  • $156,900 spent by the Building Management and Works Section of the Department of Finance has on vacant offices and car bays;
  • $85,680 spent by the Dampier and Port Hedland Port Authorities on empty offices and car bays following a move to premises in Parliament Place, West Perth.
  • $58,700 paid out by Landgate on empty offices, with a current lease not set to expire until 30 June 2012.
  • $41,409 spent by Tourism Western Australia over 30 months on rent for vacant premises in Broome


Mr McGowan said the Barnett Government had badly mismanaged the government building and management programme.


"These empty offices and car bays demonstrate the Barnett Government's failure to prevent tax-payers money being wasted while at the same time slugging ordinary West Australians more for household bills," Mr McGowan said.


"How can the Government justify moving agencies to plush premises in the city while wasting tens of thousands of dollars on empty office space?"


Mr McGowan said the Opposition has already revealed how one government agency moving out of government-owned premises into the new leased premises at the Optima Centre in Osborne Park had cost millions.


"When you include these figures along with the exorbitant cost of the Premier's new palace the cavalier approach of this Government to the spending of public money becomes obvious," he said.