THE State Trustees office in Bendigo has been officially opened, but not without a little controversy.
The project was announced under the former state Labor government, but members of the current Liberal government cut the ribbon yesterday.
Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan welcomed the opening.
“It’s really pleasing to see that it’s happened,” she said. “It’s exceeded expectations. I’m proud to be involved in making the decision to relocate the service here.”
The project is expected to create 100 new jobs and about 75 positions have so far been filled.
Peter and Rosa Williams moved from Melbourne with their two children after Mr Williams landed a role at the office.
“We’re loving it, we’re really enjoying the country,” Mr Williams said. “I’m a country lad and Rosa is a country girl, born in Wangaratta.
“So the opportunity to move up for work to a country environment, why wouldn’t you move to Bendigo?”
About 25 people have moved from the city to work in the regional office.
State treasurer Kim Wells said the project was a boost for the region and would bring “millions of dollars” in flow-on benefits to the local economy.
Mayor Alec Sandner said the council-owned car park building would be paid off in about 11 years, with a coffee shop opening at the site today.