More than 450 Department of Planning, Industry and Environment staff will move into the soon-to-be-completed Stewart Avenue office block in Newcastle West from next year.
The week's budget papers confirmed the so-called 'super-department' would spend $32 million to lease the 12-storey building adjacent to the transport interchange for 10 years.
The department said staff currently working across Newcastle, including at the Bull Street government offices, would relocate to the 'The Store' from next April.
"With multiple leases expiring in 2021, The Store provides an opportunity to consolidate our accommodation footprint. The fit-out has been designed for agile working to maximise the use of space," a spokeswoman said.
But sources, including the Public Service Association, told the Newcastle Herald that they doubted the department currently employed the stated 460 positions in Newcastle.
Significantly, the government has ruled out relocating jobs from outside of Newcastle to The Store.
"The 460 DPIE staff who are being relocated to The Store are from our existing DPIE offices in central Newcastle," the spokeswoman said.
"A further 80 DPIE staff are currently working at the Bull Street office in Newcastle and those staff members will remain in that building.
"There are no plans to relocate tenancies outside of Newcastle."DPIE spokeswoman
"There are no plans to relocate tenancies outside of Newcastle."
The final slab on the $54 million Store building was poured last month.
The construction milestone followed the recent opening of the adjacent 700-space car park and bus interchange.
The remaining section of the bus interchange will open once construction for the office building is completed in March.
This week's confirmation of the government's lease of The Store building was among the few highlights of this year's state budget in the Lower Hunter.
Many projects that have been in the planning phase for years either did not have new money committed or had existing allocations rolled over.
These included funding for the long-awaited upgrade of Hillsborough Road and Nelson Bay Road as well as the Broadmeadow Sports and Entertainment Precinct (Hunter Park), the Fassifern to Hexham freight bypass and Medowie High School.
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