Government won't sell St John Street building

Completed in 1861, the government office in St John Street is the second oldest purpose-built public building.
Completed in 1861, the government office in St John Street is the second oldest purpose-built public building.

The state government will not sell its St John Street offices but will progress with its $7 million Launceston consolidation strategy.

As speculation about the future use of Hobart’s Treasury building continues, Tasmanian Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the government was progressing with its centralised property management strategy.

In the 2017-2018 state budget, the government allocated $7 million to the program, which included the establishment of “new contemporary government office space” at the CH Smith site.

Mr Gutwein said the government had previously made a decision to “not proceed with selling the St John Street offices”.

"The consolidation process of office space in the north is now underway and recently the National Trust was relocated to the ground floor of St John Street,” he said. 

“The CH Smith building is progressing and we expect to take possession in early 2019.” 

Peter Gutwein outside the St John Street offices.

Peter Gutwein outside the St John Street offices.

Serving as a base for the government in Launceston, the St John Street building is the second-oldest purpose-built public building in Tasmania, completed in 1861.

Mr Gutwein said the head lease had been finalised and the government was finalising the tenancies for the building.

He said it was envisaged the Department of State Growth, Education and Health would be the tenants.

“An example of the centralisation strategy is the relocation of Education staff from the Inveresk offices as a result of the future UTAS development on that site,” Mr Gutwein said.

The treasurer said the government’s Hobart office centralisation strategy, which is expected to save about $5 million each year, was associated with the relocation of a number of tenancies to the Parliament Square development.

“It is expected that savings will be realised in the north as well, allowing for increased investment into essential services such as health and education,” he said.