Tamworth Regional Council using CBD office for “hot desking” and meetings | The Northern Daily Leader


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TAMWORTH Regional Council (TRC) is not currently focused on hiring Sydney-based staff while paying $20,000 to rent CBD office space in the capital. The council is using the space for current staff and councillors to “hot desk” and hold meetings while doing business in Sydney. TRC entered an office-sharing arrangement with six other councils last year. READ MORE: The deal was led by Wagga Wagga City Council, whose general manager hailed the arrangement a success in its initial months. Wagga’s council has seven new staff members working from the Sydney office. The shared office space was opened as way to encourage skilled professionals to work for regional councils without being deterred by the prospect of relocation. TRC wasn’t focused on using the office as base for new staff members this year, but Tamworth’s general manager Paul Bennett said it could be an option down the track. Tamworth entered the arrangement on a one-year trial, which will be reassessed at the end of 2020. Mr Bennett – who declined an interview with the Leader – said in a written statement the office space would be used to hold key meetings in Sydney. “A key use will be economic development activities and meeting with prospective investors to entice them in coming to the Tamworth region,” he said. “All staff are able to use it while in Sydney for business purposes and we have already made use of the conference room and teleconferencing facilities. “The shared office space is completely IT-enabled with high-speed internet, teleconferencing facilities, smart boards, printers and everything you would expect in a modern office environment.” Tamworth council is paying a $20,000 fee that covers all expenses and unlimited use of the space and facilities. While the space may provide an opportunity in the future to recruit Sydney-based staff, Mr Bennett said it was “not currently our focus”. When the deal was announced in July last year, mayor Col Murray indicated the Macquarie Street office would be a place for current staff and councillors to hold meetings and work in the big smoke. The mayor previously said Tamworth council wasn’t having the same issues as Wagga when it came to hiring staff. He said there could be opportunities for resource-sharing with smaller rural councils that might have some difficulty attracting high-level specialist staff to their communities. Other councils sharing the Sydney office space include Parkes, Port Macquarie, Snowy Valleys and Hilltops shires. What do you think? Have your say, send a letter to the editor Want to see more local stories? Support the local news that keeps you informed – subscribe today

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