Come work here: Woden Group wants big business and government to bring 950 jobs back to town centre
22 JUNE 2016
A group seeking to inject life into Woden’s faltering town centre will lobby big business and government to bring 950 more jobs to the district by next Christmas.
As the ACT government works to move almost 1000 extra public servants into Woden before Christmas, property fund manager and spokesman for The Woden Group Shane Quinn said the group had plans to make that number close to 2000 during the next 18 months.
“There’s been a leakage of jobs into other town centres. Groups like IBA have moved out and it’s led to a shrinking workforce which has absolutely affected the amenity and we want to change that, we want to change the tide of employment back into the town centre,” Mr Quinn said.
“We’re going to reach out to the politicians over the next coming period to see what we can do as a group to come up with initiatives to get businesses back into the town centre employing people.”
An exodus of federal public servants from Woden in 2014 led to fears the once-vibrant trading region would become a shell of its former self.
The near-emptying of Canberra’s tallest building, Woden’s Lovett Tower, was seen as a hammer blow to the retail and office precinct.
But with talk of the centre becoming the city’s leading health hub comes hope that a stable employment base will see the heart of Canberra’s first satellite city come to life once more.
“We think [950 jobs] is a realistic goal and we think once we can turn that many jobs back into the town centre that it can start to become self-fulfilling in terms of the growth and the stable long-term employment which provides that amenity and allows those long-term smaller businesses to operate and flourish,” Mr Quinn said.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr welcomed the push to bring more jobs back to Woden.
“I’m very pleased to see businesses taking their future in their own hands in this way rather than sitting back and waiting for the government, and I’d be delighted to see the government work with them. I look forward to hearing more detail,” Mr Barr said.
“A vibrant Woden is good for all Canberrans, and new jobs, like the ones the ACT government is moving there, will help the Woden economy, as will the other steps we’re taking for Woden including continuing to invest in the hospital and upgrades to the bus interchange.”