Esso staff to return

ESSO has come full circle, and will again occupy office space in its former headquarters building in Sale.

The oil and gas giant will rent offices in the Port of Sale Business Centre, recently vacated by Wellington Shire Council.

Esso Australia confirmed this week that a lease agreement had been signed.

A company spokesperson declined to confirm how many people would be moving back to Sale or the length of the lease, but it appears an entire floor is being refurbished.

“Esso Australia is very excited to be moving to a new office in Sale as we continue our long-standing Gippsland story,” the spokesperson said.

“Esso looks to locate personnel close to where our facilities are, so that they can be closer to the equipment and operations they support as we continue to build a stronger business.

“The new premises will allow us to optimise our office space in Gippsland, and this long-term lease further demonstrates our commitment to our Gippsland operations.

“We have always been an active member of the Gippsland community, and this move reinforces our local ties.

 “It also coincides with an exciting period for Esso as we celebrate 50 years of offshore production in Bass Strait in 2019.”

The company expects preparations for the movement of staff back to Sale to be complete by July.

Esso previously operated from the Foster St premises before moving staff to Melbourne in November 1991.

It sold Sale’s biggest office block complexes to the then Sale City Council for substantially less than they were worth.

Esso recently moved its Australian headquarters from Southbank to Docklands, Melbourne.

The movement of staff from Melbourne to Sale will provide a welcome boost for the local economy, which is also preparing for an influx of more RAAF personnel to the area next year when Sale becomes the home of all defence pilot training.

Once the Basic Flying Training School is relocated to East Sale, all pilots for the Navy, Air Force and Army will begin their training in Sale using the new PC-21 aircraft.

This move is expected to deliver a $15 million per year boost to the Gippsland economy, in addition to the current defence contribution to Gippsland of $12 million per year in direct wages and supplies.

The Basic Flying Training School is expected to bring 150 Defence jobs to East Sale.