The development application proposing a new Centrelink building to be built at the Stockland Nowra Shopping Centre would replace the office in the Nowra CBD, confirms Services Australia.
If the DA before the Shoalhaven City Council is approved, the new Centrelink office is expected to be completed halfway through 2023.
The new office is proposed for 32 East Street, Nowra, in the southwestern corner of the Stockland centre.
The current Centrelink building is located at Lawrence Avenue in the Nowra CBD, with some residents expressing concern that the new location would be harder to access as it is further from the CBD bus terminal.
Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips also expressed concern over a lack of community consultation about the proposed new site.
General Manager of Services Australia Hank Jongen said he believes the Stockland site is centrally located and said the community will be kept updated on further details.
"If approved and lease negotiations are successful, all existing services offered from 4 Lawrence Avenue would relocate to the new site," said Mr Jongen.
"The proposed site has a dedicated bus stop, improved parking and easy access to local shops.
"As always, we will keep the community updated of any changes to our services."
Mr Jongen said the decision came down to the service centre tenancy being reviewed and confirmed the move would not cause any job losses.
"As leases come up for renewal, we review service centre tenancies to ensure they're fit-for-purpose and align with the changing needs of the community," he said.
"Services Australia is committed to maintaining face-to-face services in Nowra.
"There will be no job losses."
He also confirmed the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) service which operates from the Nowra service centre will continue at the new site.
Some have also expressed concern that moving the Centrelink office from the Nowra CBD could have a negative impact on businesses.
However, President of the Shoalhaven Business Chamber, Jemme Tribe, said a business owner in the Nowra CBD believes the service moving would have a "minimal impact" on local businesses and would help free up car spaces in the area.
Mrs Tribe said given the building is expected to be finished by 2023, there should be plenty of time for community consultation.
Shoalhaven City Council has the plan on public exhibition until October 21. To put in a submission, visit this website and enter the DA tracking number: DA21/2032.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.