ABC to head west to new site in Parramatta

Approximately 300 ABC staff currently in Ultimo will relocate to new facilities in Parramatta by 2024.

ABC has announced a major plan to move approximately 300 employees currently based in Ultimo to new facilities in Parramatta by 2024.

ABC estimates that 200 staff from content divisions will relocate, with teams from the News, Regional and Local, and Entertainment & Specialist under consideration. This will include elements of the newsroom, local radio, national radio and television production. The remainder of staff relocating will be from support teams.

The new facilities will need radio and television studios and a public space for community engagement.

A property adviser will assist in identifying suitable premises.

A key element of the ABC’s Five-Year Plan released last year was the commitment to having 75 per cent of its content makers working outside of its Ultimo headquarters by 2025.

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose said in a speech, “With the ABC’s headquarters formerly at Gore Hill on the North Shore of Sydney, and now at Ultimo in Sydney’s Pyrmont area, the ABC has also been regarded, with fair reason, as too inner-city focused.

“Now the ABC is changing, using the ease and speed of new technologies to better meet the needs of an evolving Western Sydney, and a changing Australia too.

“One of ABC management’s key pledges in the Five-Year Plan announced last year was to be more local; to be a stronger part of more communities across Australia’s suburban, outer-urban and regional centres.

“ABC teams are doing just that right now, getting out in the community, reporting the stories that matter to all Australians, especially those who live beyond the inner ring of the capital cities.

“Management has committed to have at least 75 per cent of ABC content-makers working in locations beyond Ultimo headquarters by 2025. The biggest decentralisation in ABC history.

“And Western Sydney is a top priority.”

ABC currently has its former Ripponlea studios back on the property market in Melbourne, expected to notch a sale north of $20m. Woolworths earlier paid up to $50 million for a former ABC administration site in nearby Selwyn Street.

“With Parramatta at the geographic heart of Sydney, a stronger ABC presence here will ensure greater visibility and connection to this growing community. Parramatta also will be an ideal location for journalists and producers heading to cover stories throughout Western Sydney,” Ms. Buttrose added.

7 Responses

  1. Surely this is just an elaborate way for the government to make sure ABC funds are wasted on real estate and relocations instead of doing pesky things like reporting news or making shows?

  2. Love how Pollies and NewsCorp agitators always bang on about this, but never dare say anything about their commercial news mates. All but 1 Sydney media organisations are based in the inner city, if not city. 7: Redfern & Martin Place, 9/SMH: North Sydney, 10: Pyrmont, Daily Telegraph/NewsCorp: Surry Hills/Martin Place. The except is Sky News in Martin Place & Macquarie Park (11.5km from the CBD).

    Moving to Parramatta won’t change anything. If they need to produce more “Western Sydney” stories, then make an editorial change. It’s not like they do cat up tree and car crash stories anyway.

  3. The 5 year plan to move 75 per cent of content makers out of Ultimo to break up the Sydney centric way the Sydney Broadcasting Corporation is run sounded like a good idea. That announcement today though is laughable and typical that Sydney just can’t let go of control by placing an “outpost” just down the road. Sydney still allow a few shows to be made in Melbourne so it would have been great to see production and facilities increased in the forgotten BAPH states – Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart. You’ve just got to watch the Sydney based news channel to realise they forget other states in Australia are watching and the Paramatta announcement just proves it.

  4. “ABC to head west” er 15% of the Ultimo staff going 20 kilometres down the road … that’s “major”? they won’t even need a packed lunch … the BBC in the UK (which is a fraction of the size of Oz) managed to move 350 kilometres to Manchester!!! “getting out in the community, reporting the stories that matter to all Australians, especially those who live beyond the inner ring of the capital cities” yep, I’m sure all the Australians in Dubbo will benefit from the millions of dollars expended in this “major” move” …

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