Wednesday, 29 January 2014

More jobs go in Lismore under an Abbott Government

The AUSTRALIAN VALUATION OFFICE is a fee for service federal government agency situated within the Australian Tax Office:

A valued partner in government – delivering asset solutions.
The Australian Valuation Office has a team of professionals in cities, regional centres and remote locations across Australia. We provide valuation, assessment, risk management, business intelligence, advice and consultancy services for all types of assets and for all levels of government.
As a government agency, we deliver professional, ethical and intelligent solutions. Our solutions deliver value for money and meet all compliance requirements.
Our position within government guarantees independent advice and results you can trust and use with confidence.

Land and property valuations are supplied to the NT Government under an agreement with the Australian Valuation Office (AVO).
Requests for valuations from NT Government agencies must be submitted in writing to the AVO by facsimile to 08 8995 5365, or by email to
Agency requests are regarded as commercial valuations and the costs are charged directly back to the requesting agency.

While the Abbott Government and Federal Labor Opposition issue competing media releases (see below), the fact remains that the Northern Rivers region will see job losses once again as a result of government cost cutting.

The Sydney Morning Herald 23 January 2014:

The office’s remaining work is expected to be taken over by private sector valuers.
The closure will affect workers in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney as well as regional towns including, Young, Bowral, Wagga Wagga, Lismore, Mildura and Port Lincoln.

Federal Nationals MP for Page, Kevin Hogan, remains silent on the fate of Lismore staff, although he did respond when The Daily Examiner questioned him about the fate of Australian Tax Office staff at Grafton. He’s written another letter.


The Hon Steven Ciobo MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

4 January 2014

Closure of the Australian Valuation Office
The Australian Valuation Office (AVO) will cease to provide services by 30 June 2014.
The AVO has delivered valuation services exclusively for the Government since 1910 but has become unsustainable and is expected to incur losses of up to $4 million this financial year.
The losses are forecast to get worse each year as the AVO’s revenue declines sharply due to technological changes in the valuation industry and government departments decreasing their use of the AVO’s services.
On top of the predicated losses, at least $1 million would have been required for the AVO to bring their IT equipment up to date.
A compelling case for the Commonwealth providing its own valuation services no longer exists, particularly given there is a highly competitive market of private sector providers.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Steven Ciobo, said he paid tribute to those who have worked in the AVO. The organisation has a rich history and has assisted organisations over many years to meet policy outcomes and financial reporting requirements.
The Australian Taxation Office will work with affected employees and manage the wind-down period for the organisation, with up to 198 staff to be offered redundancies.


The Abbott Government’s decision to axe the Australian Valuation Office jeopardises the jobs and livelihoods of almost 200 people across Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne and in remote and regional cities.
The decision smacks of an ideological preoccupation with cutting government services without regard to their effectiveness.
The 104 year-old AVO, located in the Australian Taxation Office, has been doing an effective job. While the government refers to a projected loss in the future, it fails to point out that the AVO has consistently run a profit.
At the same time that the Minister for Social Services has announced a review of welfare spending, the Government is axing the office that conducts compliance valuations for Centrelink.
The AVO’s team of professionals provide valuation, assessment, risk management and independent advice regarding property and other assets. If the government does not know what its assets are worth, it risks making bad decisions in everything from defence to social security.
Tony Abbott gave no indication of this when in Opposition. The government has not consulted with staff before making this decision.
If there is a compelling case to axe the AVO, the government needs to make it. Scrapping a century-old institution deserves a proper report, not just a short press release from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer.
The Coalition said that they wanted more services delivered in regional Australia, but all they have done is cut jobs.
The decision comes off the back of revelations this week that the ATO plans to close regional tax compliance offices across four states.
Why is the Coalition axing jobs at a time of rising joblessness and insecurity? Is this a preview of the savage cuts to come with the Commission of Audit?
Friday, 24 January 2014

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