Canterbury-Bankstown Council is hoping to lure SBS from Artarmon to a new cultural hub it is calling SBS Square, as part of a bigger vision, Connective City 2036.
The council told the Sunday Telegraph the cost of building SBS Square with a new SBS HQ will be in the vicinity of $120 million, create almost 400 construction jobs and generate $85m for the Sydney economy. But former premier and federal foreign minister Bob Carr and Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour believe the sale of Artarmon site would net some $70m to offset costs.
“Our city has nearly 70 per cent of its residents who come from a non-English speaking background and that’s why we would be a perfect fit for Australia’s only multicultural broadcaster,” Mr Asfour said.
A report was presented to Communications Minister Paul Fletcher last month.
But former Parramatta lord mayor Andrew Wilson has previously said Parramatta’s commercial centre should be a “clear frontrunner” were SBS to relocate.
“We have a number of opportunities both in the CBD and surrounding precincts that could cater to SBS and their future requirements. These locations have great connectivity to roads and public transport, and would place SBS at the heart of cultural and economic activity in western Sydney,” he said in 2019.
At the time Opposition communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowlands said an elected Labor government would commission a study to investigate the feasibility of relocating SBS from Artarmon.
An SBS spokesman said: “The geographical location of our offices has no bearing on the services SBS provides.
“We are yet to see any proposal for moving our premises that would be cost-effective, practical, or yield more value for the Australian public.”
SBS has been at Artarmon since 1993 (pictured above).