Joint Media Release

Realising the Value of Surplus Commonwealth Property

MC 42/14

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance

Hon. Michael Mccormack MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance

13 May 2014

The Abbott Government will undertake a property divestment programme to realise the value of surplus Commonwealth property.

The divestment programme is part of the Government’s Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe and secure Australia.

The National Commission of Audit noted that the Commonwealth’s property holdings are diverse and substantial.  It found that many of the Commonwealth’s non-defence property holdings reflect historic rather than current or future needs. 

The first tranche of properties to be divested is expected to generate net returns of
$22.5 million over the forward estimates. This initial tranche will include around 40 surplus non-defence Commonwealth properties, including vacant blocks and facilities no longer in Government use. These divestments do not include nationally significant sites.

Further tranches will be developed for consideration in future Budget processes as additional properties are identified. The number of properties under consideration for the next phases is expected to be more than the initial tranche and this will be reflected in future budget estimates.

The sale of surplus properties will reduce the cost to taxpayers associated with their ongoing maintenance.  These savings will help the Government repair the Budget and strengthen Australia’s future.

Subject to market conditions and any unique characteristics, surplus non-defence properties will generally be sold through competitive open market sale processes.

The Department of Finance will engage and work closely with private sector property experts to further develop and deliver the divestment programme.

[ENDS]

Media Contact(s): 

For Senator Cormann - Karen Wu - 0428 350 139
For Mr McCormack - Rachel Thompson - 0427 892 500