Push continues to keep ASIC local

THE privatisation of the Traralgon Australian Securities and Investments Commission business registry is one step closer with more than 10 expressions of interest announced.

Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the expressions had been received as part of the initial phase of the ASIC business registry tender process on Wednesday.

The registry in Grey Street employs about 200 staff dealing with close to 1.1 million public enquiries annually, including the registration of new business names.

It follows a series of job cuts at the employer, including 27 voluntary redundancies in May 2014 and a further 30 losses in May this year.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said keeping the ASIC business registry in Traralgon remained a key factor for the Australian Government in its assessment of potential new operators.

Mr Chester said he had been advised several parties who came forward were interested in upgrading and operating the ASIC registry at the Traralgon offices.

“I’m glad to see positive signs regarding the acknowledgement by bidders that the Traralgon community wants the ASIC registry to stay where it is,” Mr Chester said.

The privatisation tender fuelled an ongoing campaign by Latrobe City Council to lobby for the retention of hundreds of registry jobs in the Valley ahead of a tentative sale date in 2018.

Mayor Dale Harriman said weighting should be placed on companies that wanted to maintain the site in Traralgon and was confident there was enough variety in the 10 applications for a competitive tender process.

“We’re watching with interest and we’ll continue to push government along with Darren Chester to maintain ASIC at its current site and keep jobs local,” Cr Harriman said.