Member for Gippsland Darren Chester believes Federal Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann has given the strongest signal yet that Australian Securities and Investments Commission Registry jobs will remain in Traralgon even if the service is privatised.
He said Minister Cormann this week responded to concerns raised by Gippsland MP Darren Chester and Latrobe City mayor Dale Harriman with a letter outlining the government’s approach to the competitive tender process.
Mr Chester and Cr Harriman also met with the Finance Minister’s Chief of Staff and emphasised the importance of retaining local jobs if the privatisation proceeded in two years’ time.
“We are working together to highlight the importance of ASIC to the Latrobe Valley economy and I’m heartened by Minister Cormann’s letter which provides some assurance to the community,” Mr Chester said.
In the letter Minister Cormann indicated the government would “make it clear at the start of a market testing process that the choice of an operator will take into account the Government’s strong preference for the registry to maintain its existing operations in Traralgon”.
Minister Cormann also wrote “the Government will assess proposals against the level and nature of commitments that private sector contenders make to maintaining or enhancing operations within the Latrobe Valley area”.
Cr Harriman said the announcement was a positive indication the government was listening to community concerns and he welcomed further information regarding the opportunity to expand the registry in the future.
“We still have a long way to go as the competitive tender process unfolds over the next 12-18 months but it’s pleasing that the Finance Minister has listened to our concerns and given a strong direction to the market place that any private operator will need to maintain operations in Traralgon to be successful in the bidding process,” he said.
“The bottom line for our community remains local jobs and we are open to working with the potential private operators to expand operations in Traralgon into new areas of business.”
Mr Chester said he would continue to work with council and the Finance Minister as the tender process progressed.
“In our discussions the Minister has indicated that he believes the registry business should remain in Traralgon and there is a likelihood of increased job opportunities as a private sector provider offers more value-added services to clients around Australia,” Mr Chester said.