ABC announces proposal to increase Western Sydney presence

The ABC has announced its intention to relocate around 300 employees from its Ultimo headquarters in Sydney to new facilities in Parramatta. Planning for this move has begun with the issue of a request for proposal for a property adviser to 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.

Parramatta is at the geographic heart of Sydney. Increasing the ABC’s workforce based in western Sydney will provide it with greater visibility and connection to a growing community which is home to 1 in 11 Australians.

Parramatta is an ideal location for journalists and producers heading to stories both across the city and Western Sydney. It will be easier to engage with more parts of Sydney than is presently the case with the Ultimo headquarters. This move will strengthen the ability of the ABC to fulfil its goal being more relevant to more Australians

The 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.

It is anticipated the process to find and develop the new facility, identify the appropriate teams and roles to relocate there and then move staff to the new premises will be complete by 2024. A key part of the planning process will be to develop an appropriate timeline to facilitate the move.

This initiative is only one part of the ABC’s plans to locate more content-makers closer to the communities they serve. Over the next few months, the ABC will continue to consider a range of options in respect to its property holdings, operations, and production in other state capitals and in regional Australia.

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