WORKSAFE has officially arrived in Geelong, with the statutory body for workplace safety moving into its new headquarters last week.
Last Thursday’s official opening by Minister for Finance Robin Scott was attended by more than 250 people and marks the completion of the WorkSafe relocation project, which transferred more than 700 jobs to the region.
The formal event on Thursday night was followed by a community open day on Sunday, which saw hundreds of people take in the impressive views from the upper floors of Geelong’s tallest commercial building.
WorkSafe’s relocation from Melbourne to Malop Street is part of the ongoing effort to establish Geelong as a national centre for social insurance excellence – the National Disability Insurance Agency and the Transport Accident Commission are already based here, and lobbying to bring Comcare to the city continues.
More than 500 former Melbourne-based WorkSafe staff began working in the new office last week, nearly 90 of which have purchased homes in the region, with more renting.
More than 200 staff working at other Geelong locations moved into the building in late May, and an advertising campaign is under way to recruit locals to join WorkSafe as new positions become available.
The construction of the 14-storey building created more than 250 jobs during peak construction.
The $120 million building was designed, built and is owned by property group Quintessential Equity, and has been recognised by the International WELL Building Institute for incorporating design features and materials that promote health and wellbeing.
“The relocation of WorkSafe is a monumental undertaking and a huge achievement for everyone involved,” Mr Scott said.
“WorkSafe’s new head office is a proud symbol of our investment in Geelong and regional Victoria, and will be an excellent base for WorkSafe to continue to deliver for workers, employers and the Victorian community.”
WorkSafe chief executive officer Clare Amies said the opening was a historic event for WorkSafe and signified the beginning of an exciting new chapter for occupational health and safety in Victoria.