Call centres would be outsourced to regional Queensland instead of offshore to India as part of a massive decentralisation push, under a proposal put to the Federal Government.
While not as cheap as India, they would be able to take advantage of inexpensive real estate, saving the government cash while boosting employment and population in remote towns, according to the plan.
Earlier this year, all government departments were ordered to reveal what parts of their bureaucracies could be relocated to regional areas, in a bid to boost jobs outside capital cities.
In one proposal put to the Parliamentary committee investigating options, the Southern Downs Regional Council said relocating whole departments would be inefficient and costly, but call centres and other administrative roles could be moved to the regions.
“They can operate independently and they can assist agencies to save money by occupying lower-cost premises,” according to the submission from Southern Downs council CEO David Keenan.
“The Southern Downs Regional Council is not suggesting that these functions be located offshore but rather that the same business model should be used to determine what functions could be moved to regional communities.”
Other submissions include one from Longreach Council to move parts of the Immigration Department to its town, which is 700km from the coastline.
Rockhampton Regional Council’s submissions state there would be advantages in moving the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Indigenous Affairs group to its city.
Regional development and decentralisation committee chair and Groom MP John McVeigh said cost savings from moving administrative functions out of the capital cities to the regions could be as advantageous for big business as it was for government.
“There’s an absolutely lifestyle and economic change available for people pushing out to regional centres,” he said.
This was originally published by the Courier Mail.