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.