Esso office set to open soon?

FITTING-out work in the new Esso office premises in Sale appears well underway, with the return of staff appearing imminent.

The return of staff to Sale will mean Esso has come full circle, as it again occupies office space in its former headquarters building.

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

Last month, Esso Australia confirmed a lease agreement had been signed.

At that time 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, suggesting dozens of workers may return.

“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 at the time.

“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 had expected preparations for the movement of staff back to Sale to be complete by July.

An update on the move was sought by the Gippsland Times, but no response had been received as of deadline.

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 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.

The confirmation this week that Fulham Correctional Centre will undergo a $49 million expansion, with 102 new prison beds, will provide an additional boost to the local economy and those who supply the prison with goods and services.