1,900 public sector workers breathe new life into Freo
About 1,900 public sector workers from the departments of Communities and Transport have moved into their new office at Kings Square in Fremantle.
Community Services Minister Simone McGurk, Housing Minister Peter Tinley, Youth Minister Dave Kelly and staff from both agencies today marked the official opening of the building at a smoking ceremony performed by respected Noongar elder Dr Richard Walley OAM.
A cultural narrative developed by Dr Walley is depicted throughout the new building, acknowledging the indigenous history of the site and the department’s work with Aboriginal people in support of reconciliation and creating better outcomes for communities.
The new office is part of the Kings Square Renewal Project, which is the largest public-private infrastructure project in Fremantle’s history. The development is expected to inject more than $350 million into the local economy, revitalising the heart of the port city.
Relocating the Department of Communities’ head office to Fremantle will also help to alleviate traffic congestion by reducing the need to commute to and from the Perth CBD.
Public servants working out of Newman Court have access to a variety of regular public transport options, with the Fremantle train station only a 600-metre walk away and the nearest bus stop within 100 metres.
The building boasts modern end-of-trip facilities such as storage racks, showers and clothes drying cabinets to encourage staff to commute by cycling, or running or walking to work.
It also makes more efficient use of the available space, delivering better value for money for Western Australian taxpayers through consolidation of office accommodation.
Developed by the City of Fremantle, in partnership with Sirona Capital, the state-of-the-art complex has a five-star Green Star rating. Operational energy savings are already being realised as a result of the exemplary design.
The building’s design includes a strong focus on creating an accessible and inclusive work environment, with a number of meeting rooms having ‘push to assist’ opening doors, hearing loops and height-adjustable tables.
“As the Minister responsible for Community Services, as well as the Member for Fremantle, it’s no surprise that I welcome the Department of Communities and its workers to Fremantle,” said Community Services Minister Simone McGurk.
“The impressive new building at Kings Square is an opportunity for different ways of working, with facilities that encourage collaboration and innovation.
“I’m confident that the staff will enjoy their new office and the experience of this vibrant community.
“We are already starting to see flow-on benefits from bringing almost 2,000 workers into Fremantle’s CBD, which is a game changer for local businesses.”
Housing Minister Peter Tinley said, “This impressive new complex at Kings Square provides the Department of Communities with a contemporary office space, while also providing the Department of Transport’s Maritime business unit with an ideal location in the heart of Fremantle.
“Staff from the departments of Communities and Transport are already benefiting from their new work environment, which will help to ensure efficient agency operation and service delivery to Fremantle and the broader WA community.
“The consolidation of offices into larger, unified spaces enables government to reduce the duplication of facilities and deliver efficient shared spaces while supporting community service delivery. This approach also maximises value-for-money for WA taxpayers.”
Youth Minister Dave Kelly acknowledged all the Department of Communities staff who have worked tirelessly supporting young people during the response to COVID-19.
“Now that the relocation has been completed, it is great to see so many workers enjoying their new surrounds, making the most of the new facilities and visiting local establishments such as the iconic Fremantle Markets.”