I currently work for the Australian Government in Canberra. Rather than moving Australian Government departments to rural areas in the future, I would like to see more opportunities to work remotely for staff members in jobs that do not require them to be onsite. In this way they can still contribute to the Australian Government as well as to the town/city they wish to live in - Canberra, rural or otherwise. This would allow the whole of Australia to benefit without forcing people to areas they don’t want to live. Forcing staff to remote areas was a big mistake as highlighted by the loss of so many good, experienced and skilled staff during the forced move by APVMA to Armidale. Imagine if staff could live wherever they wanted. Technology today means some jobs can be done from anywhere in the world and this is only going to get easier over time. If staff were not forced into moving to Canberra (or elsewhere) then I believe the skill level of candidates applying for Australian Government jobs would rise considerably as not everyone wants to leave their hometown because of friends, family, location, lifestyle etc. To be able to work from anywhere would allow the best Australian for the job to be successful no matter where they live, an important measure in the merit system. To avoid the system being abused staff could only be eligible to work remotely after a certain time limit in their job. Anything from 6 months to 2 years would be enough for staff to prove their work ethic, learn the job, meet other team members etc and then they could move out of Canberra if they still desired. Who wouldn’t want that flexibility?