Regional areas are already significantly affected by the impacts of COVID-19. To lose over 100 jobs in central Geelong with the potential closure of the ATO office in mid-2021 would be a significant blow when we can least afford it.
The loss of these jobs would have negative social and economic flow-on effects including on local goods and services spending, which would further hit our commercial, retail and hospitality sectors.
Geelong has been a national success story of decentralisation of government agencies. The ATO and key Federal Government decision makers should defer its decision regarding the ATO Geelong office closure and take time to carefully explore options and consult deeply before making a final decision.
We acknowledge and support the strong advocacy from Senator Sarah Henderson on this matter to keep these jobs in Geelong and wish to add our voice to her concerns.
CEO, Committee for Geelong
Published in the Geelong Advertiser, 20 June 2020