THE Department of Primary Industries is packing up and heading down the road to $30 million digs – and they’ll get a couple of new housemates too.
The old Orange Base Hospital has been announced as the new home for the state’s agriculture department, with staff from Local Land Services, Department of Premier and Cabinet, and the Department of Planning and Environment tipping the total over 700 staff.
Work on the purpose-built, three-storey office block – occupying the eastern end of the site – will begin in 2019 with an end date of mid-2020.
Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said he was looking forward to a quick build, adding that the site was chosen because it was the cheapest option for rent.
It is understood housing and retail is planned for western end of the site.
Here’s a slideshow of what the end product will look like…
“Twenty six years ago, in the biggest move to decentralise government services this state has seen, former Nationals Deputy Premier and Minister for Agriculture, Ian Armstrong, relocated the then Department of Agriculture to Orange,” Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said.
“The new headquarters will continue to bolster the primary industries sector and see the department invest in, and thrive with, Orange - now and well into the future.”
The Verde Group will handle the $30m construction phase, which is expected to create 220 full-time jobs in itself.
“We looked at all options... the fact that our lease was expiring we went to market to look at all our options and Property NSW has handled that for us and the best outcome for tax payers, the DPI and all of our staff was the location of the old Orange hospital,” Mr Blair said.
Orange City Council’s Jeff Whitton said he was pleased DPI would continue to be an asset for the region.
“Only half of the site will be occupied, but council plans to facilitate the other half with urban style and metropolitan housing to the left of the site,” Cr Whitton said.