Around 300 ABC staff will move from broadcaster’s headquarters in Sydney’s Ultimo to new facilities in Parramatta, including potentially those from within the Entertainment & Specialist division.
Planning has begun for the move, which is expected to include 200 staff from across the newsroom, local radio, national radio, and television production. The remainder of staff relocating will be from support teams.
The proposal was part of the broadcaster’s five-year plan that was released last year, in which it outlined a commitment to have 75 per cent of its content makers working outside of Ultimo by 2025.
The ABC anticipates the relocation to the new facility to be complete by 2024.
In a statement, the broadcaster said the relocation would make it easier to engage with more parts of Sydney.
“This move will strengthen the ability of the ABC to fulfil its goal being more relevant to more Australians,” it said.
The proposal has been welcomed by the Federal Government, with Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher describing the move as a “good first step”.
“Parramatta will be a considerably more convenient location for people who live in many parts of Sydney that today are underrepresented at the ABC, particularly Western Sydney,” he said
“More diversity of people will mean more diversity of opinion amongst ABC staff and journalists, and any objective observer would agree that can only be a good thing.
“The ABC has editorial and operational independence and decisions on property matters such as this are matters for ABC board and management.”
Over the next few months, the ABC says it 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.