Welcome to The Quarter – Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ page was developed by the Karratha “The Quarter” Move Team.

(The page is administered by Vital Conversations on behalf of the Move Team)

Welcome to the Quarter

Which government agencies are moving to The Quarter?

  • Department of Agriculture and Food WA
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Mines and Petroleum
  • Department of Planning
  • Department of Transport
  • Department of Water
  • Housing Authority
  • LandCorp
  • Pilbara Development Commission

The above agencies will occupy the 2nd floor. Other floors may be leased to private organisations. Ground floor will house retail outlets.

What is the vision for The Quarter?

  • “Multiple Karratha based agencies working together in an environmentally sensitive, flexible open plan workplace that eliminates where possible the use of walls and barriers and includes the technology and systems necessary to enable effective service delivery, encourage inter-agency collaboration and maximise the use of shared facilities”.

Why are we moving?

  • To access much better facilities collectively than many agencies might have obtained by being located separately.
  • To provide the Pilbara community with one point of contact for multiple government agencies.

Who are the people managing the relocation project?

  • The Project Manager is Andrew Chiswell from the Department of Finance in Perth.
  • The Karratha Working Group, with regional and metropolitan representatives from each agency, was established to made project decisions, in consultation with senior leaders and key agency staff. This group meets every 3-weeks via video conference.
  • The Move Team Group, with representatives from each agency, was recently established to coordinate the relocation process, including regular communication with staff. A list of the Move Team members for your agency is provided below:

Move Team Group (By Agency)


  • Graham Hindle
  • Gwynneth Haywood
  • Pam Wellington


  • Val McPherson
  • Keiko Smith
  • Louise Rice
  • Tanya Aird


  • Bonny Saunders
  • Liam Schofield
  • Michelle Maclean


  • Jane Lawton
  • Jennifer Leen
  • Kerri Thorby
  • Sharan Vandersluis
  • Casey Mitchell


  • Rhonda Tarchini
  • Lara Martin


  • Anthony Anderson
  • Michelle Baker
  • Trish Ramage
  • Sarah McDonald

PDC (including LandCorp)

  • Carolyn Biar
  • Greer Johnson


  • Carole Stevens
  • Danni Kleppe
  • Sue Lannin
  • Anita Keep
  • Danielle Palmer
  • Leane Steele
  • Billi Ingram


  • Katrina Wheeler

What decisions have already been made and what is still undecided?

  • The government agencies will all be on the second floor in The Quarter.
  • The office design has been finalised, including the colour scheme. For a copy of the office design and/or colour scheme please ask your Move Team representative.
  • The agencies will all share the same reception area.
  • The Departments of Transport, Mines and Petroleum and the Housing Authority will have separate counters in the reception area. The other agencies will share a general reception desk. Options are currently being explored as to the interface between the general reception and back of house.
  • Loose furniture will be standardised throughout the workplace and procured through the Common Use Agreement (CUA), which ensures compliance to Australian Standards.
  • The base building is now complete and the fit-out has been awarded to Aurora Project Group Pty Ltd. It is anticipated that relocation to The Quarter will occur around mid November 2016.

What about the workplace design?

  • An open plan office design that minimises walls and barriers to provide all work-stations with access to natural light and views.
  • A range of work environments to cater for different types of work (quiet rooms, meeting rooms, breakout areas, etc).
  • Shared meeting, client interview and training rooms – providing agencies with access to a greater range of spaces.
  • Shared reception area with a limited number of individual counters.
  • 4 Star NABERS energy rating to reduce energy usage.
  • Shared cafe style staff amenity areas offering refrigerated storage facilities.

Ask your Move Team member for a copy of the design if you’d like to see more detail.

What will the ICT be like?

  • Agencies will continue to access their home ICT network.
  • Agencies will continue to use their existing computer, monitors, keyboard and mouse.
  • There will be high density secure wireless access.
  • There will be shared video conference facilities accessible to all agencies

What are the benefits of agencies sharing one workplace?

  • Ability to access much better facilities collectively than agencies might have obtained by being located separately.
  • Promote and enable collaboration and interaction between agencies.
  • Enable where appropriate sharing of resources and facilities within and between agencies.
  • A workplace that is adaptable and will allow for agency change.
  • A range of spaces for quiet work, collaborative work, and to enable space for confidential conversation.
  • A workplace that existing staff find satisfactory to work in and that future staff will be attracted to work in.

Will we have an opportunity to see inside the building before we move in?

Yes. Building walk-throughs by your Move Team member have occurred. All staff had an opportunity to attend a walk-through.

The building is completed however there is no internal  office fit-out; empty floor space, provided staff with a sense of the space and light and an idea of where we will all be within the building.

Once the fit-out construction commences there will be no more ability to see inside the building until it is completed. If you were unable to attend the walk-through and would like to see inside, please see your Move Team rep.


Will there be staff and visitor parking?

Parking is included in the lease of The Quarter. This parking will accommodate pool and staff vehicles until the Hotel is built at which time new arrangements will be needed for private vehicles

What about privacy in the new workplace?

The are 9 enclosed meeting rooms of various sizes, 3 training/conference rooms with operable walls, 9 enclosed quiet rooms, and 8 open breakout spaces. These rooms will be a mixture of bookable and non-bookable spaces. Therefore, there are plenty of areas where staff can go to have a private conversation. As stated earlier, it is also envisaged that there will also be a cafe downstairs that staff can access if they want to have a discreet conversation out of the office.

What will the noise levels be like in a more open, shared environment?

Moving into a multi-tenanted open environment will be a big change for a number of agencies. Where this has occurred previously, staff reported an initial increase in noise which quickly settles down as people self-regulate and get used to the new environment.

Workshops to discuss and agree on ways of working together in an open plan environment will be run with staff closer to the relocation time. These workshops will incorporate a discussion on the way we conduct ourselves in the open plan environment – including being mindful of others and being aware of the noise you generate.

The lack of partitions reduces the effect of sound bouncing around the office. The new workplace will include materials, finishes and furniture that help to absorb and reduce sound in the work environment.

What are we taking with us, and what is for disposal?

The following items will be provided in the new workplace, so you won’t need to take them with you:

  • All desks, office chairs (unless you have a special ergonomic chair), shelving, storage cupboards and facilities.
  • A shared print solution will be available – please speak to your ICT team about whether your agency will take up this service.
  • Fridges, washing machines and microwaves.

Anything that you will use within the workplace you will need to take with you. For example:

  • Computer, monitors, keyboard and mouse.
  • Other kitchenware, such as crockery/cutlery.

Given that this will be a shared workplace, over the coming months the Move Team will be making decisions, in consultation with staff, about whether it is preferable to jointly purchase new items or which items can be transferred. For example, agencies may choose to buy new crockery and cutlery that will be shared, rather than transferring current items. Agencies may choose to share stationery so as to reduce costs and duplication of storage. As a result, it is not possible to provide a definitive list of what will and won’t be transferred until these decisions have been made. Experience and review after the relocation will enable further refinement of arrangements.

Will I have the same phone number?

  • The Quarter will be part of GCN. The GCN is a common network and telephony solution that has been deployed to a number of government buildings and agencies.
  • Agencies that take up the option of using the GCN phone system will get a new number and phone – each agency will need to arrange re-direction with their current Telcos if required.
  • It is unclear at this stage when the new numbers will be provided to agencies but it is expected that a timeline will be available by mid July.
  • The benefits of using the GCN phone system include: free phone calls and video calls to anyone else on the GCN (all new GCN phones are video enabled); and ability to access an agency wide phone directory for any staff member on the GCN.
  • Agencies that continue to use their own phone system will need to discuss with the relevant agency staff as to whether they will retain the same phone number.
  • Any questions on GCN telephony should be directed to the agency-specific ICT team (as all decisions are made by this team) not to the Project Team.

Can the GCN network handle data for all agencies in Karratha?

  • All agencies are expected to utilise the GCN network apart form Landcorp, who will utilise the PDC system as per current practice.
  • Questions around agency -specific software and applications should be directed to the agency ICT Team.
  • The GCN networks links have been assessed and scoped to provide enough bandwidth to support all agencies in Karratha. Network utilisation is continually monitored and can be increased if required.
  • Any questions on ICT services (i.e. Network, System or Internet) should be directed to the agency-specific ICT team not to the Project Team.

How will we receive ongoing information about the relocation?

  • There is a monthly ‘The Quarter’ newsletter sent to staff
  • You will receive regular updates from your Move Team member at staff meetings or via email.


Who do we approach if we have questions or want to provide feedback?

The Move Team have established the Quarter Implementation Committee which is beginning to examine some of the finer detail of in office collocation and they will become the tenant group once Move Team functions cease.  At that time your agency representation in within The Quarter will be through QIC and contacts will be advised then.