Labor to assess moving SBS to Western Sydney

Labor this week flagged  that if elected it will commission a feasibility study into the relocation of SBS headquarters from Artarmon to Western Sydney.

“Western Sydney is one of Australia’s most diverse and fast-growing areas and SBS is Australia’s most diverse multi platform digital broadcaster,” an ALP statement read.

“But there is an imbalance in infrastructure, skilled jobs and cultural investment in Western Sydney; and the proposed relocation of SBS has been mooted for years.

“The feasibility study will examine the merits of addressing the inequality in Western Sydney by utilising and leveraging the public’s investment in the nation’s multicultural broadcaster, the SBS.”

Labor will provide $20 million for Australian content to SBS and provide $2 million to upgrade systems to provide audio description for blind and low vision Australians.

Source: SBS

8 Comments:

  1. SBS does need to move but only when any money needs to be spent where they are. And when that happens, they should move to the ABC and presentation/MCR/content storage etc to Mediahub in Ingleburn. Why are these 2 government agencies being treated and funded separately? But then ABC being in a central location is also unnecessary. Have a studio and a news room and that’s it. I wonder if the ABC own the site, or lease it. It would be worth a lot of money if sold or costing a lot to lease. Either way, they should move all other functions to a purpose built location in an industrial estate (along with SBS)

  2. Regardless of the Lab/Lib left/right politics, moving SBS will achieve nothing but waste money. The building in Artarmon exists and the technology, studio, other infrastructures and efficiencies are modern. There is public transport inc rail right at the door for staff and audiences. Automation current and future will not see any increase in employment in western Sydney as a result of or within SBS. As noted in another post, the area/suburb is already extremely multicultural. The potential costs would be in the millions, possibly tens, to move. That money would be so much better spent on the screen in additional Australian content creation, particularly in drama.

    • The Artarmon facility was built 25 years ago and technology has moved on massively since then. SBS no longer does its own on-air presentation and the basic studio facilities and technical infrastructure are analogue and outdated. Every other network has or is moving because it is better, cheaper and less disruptive to start from scratch. It would actually be worth considering co-siting SBS and ABC in a new facility in western Sydney, sharing admin and resources while still maintaining their separate roles. If 7 and 9 can do it (not to mention BBC and ITV in the UK), so can ABC and SBS.

  3. The idea of moving SBS to western Sydney is not a new idea. Back in around 2016, Russel Howcroft, many would know him from ABC’s ‘Gruen Transfer’ fame, expressed an idea to move the SBS headquarters to Parramatta, NSW. They say that western Sydney is more multicultural, but Artamon, NSW is also a very multicultural place with more than half its residents born overseas.

    I think it’s still a good idea to move SBS headquarters to Parramatta for decentralisation of organisations from the Sydney business district and inner-city.

  4. There is a theory the further away from the centre of Sydney the less left-wing the Public broadcasters become, therefore this will never happen under the ALP.

  5. Moving SBS will do very little in changing the inequality of Western Sydney. Moving SBS will do nothing for jobs or infrastructure our here. It will not create jobs.

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