If elected, I will call on the Queensland government to set up shared office space for state workers in the Cleveland CBD, using long empty buildings, to help breathe some new energy into Redland City’s declining civic centre.
The Queensland Government Distributed Work Centres (DWC) program could be expanded to include the Cleveland CBD. DWC are already operated in Logan, Ipswich, Maroochydore and Robina. These work centres are responding to government workers’ needs in practical and cost-effective ways during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, given current changing attitudes to work location and flexibility, these shared workspaces could be used by state government workers in the future beyond the current pandemic response.
Cleveland CBD desperately needs to attract more people during the week to survive and this modern work arrangement could be set up quickly and cost-effectively. Well over half our local workers exit the Redlands for work every day and many are state government staff. To allow more of them to work locally would boost local businesses immediately – and offer a much better quality of life by reducing lengthy travel time (over one hour by train or car to the Brisbane CBD). The project could also reduce pressure on public transport infrastructure and, potentially, the local road network.
These shared government centres offer convenient, accessible and safe workplace options that allow approved state government employees from various Queensland Government departments to work near home. Working at such centres provides for networking and collaboration with other agencies and allows staff to benefit from a better work/life balance.
The DWC in the Cleveland CBD could utilise an existing state-owned facility or could involve leasing and repurposing one of the many empty buildings in Bloomfield Street. The Logan DWC provides 33 shared desks, and a similar size office may be appropriate for Cleveland. There may also be potential to utilise any vacant offices at the State owned Redlands Research Station at Ormiston to further expand this concept.