By Casey Neill
Dandenong’s immigration office will close at 4pm on Thursday 31 August.
The Journal reported in May that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed rumours it would close the Foster Street building with an October deadline.
Isaacs MP Mark Dreyfus and Bruce MP Julian Hill revealed the shortened deadline last week and condemned the Federal Government move.
“The government ran no consultation with the Greater Dandenong community and is now closing this office with no real explanation,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“It really shows that this government’s priorities have never been supporting Greater Dandenong.”
Mr Hill thanked Department of Immigration staff for their service to the Greater Dandenong community.
“Not once in this sorry saga did Minister Peter Dutton listen to the views of his own staff or the community,” he said.
A department spokesperson said it consulted with key stakeholders, including 15 staff and their representatives, before decided not to renew the lease beyond October.
“All affected staff will have the opportunity to remain with the department and will be provided appropriate assistance throughout the transition period,” they said.
The spokesperson said the department already provided a number of its services online, “providing clients with the convenience of accessing information, submitting applications and updating their personal details anywhere, any time and on any device”.
“We are continuing to expand online services, meaning clients do not need to come into an office,” they said.
“Where a client needs to attend an office in-person, they are able to attend our recently refurbished Melbourne CBD office which provides services to clients across the greater Melbourne area.”