Dialogue backs SBS move to Western Sydney

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue has congratulated the Federal Opposition on investigating the opportunities to relocate SBS to Western Sydney, a move that it has described as a “no-brainer”.

Christopher Brown AM, Chairman of the Dialogue, who late last year put the suggestion to Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during the Labor Leader’s visit to Revesby, said the proposal was long-overdue and had the potential to deliver several positive social, economic and creative outcomes for the region.

“The Dialogue has been campaigning for this move for nearly five years, and we’re certainly pleased that the Federal Opposition is taking a lead on this,” Mr Brown said.

“There is no doubt that SBS, the nation’s multicultural broadcaster, should be based in multicultural Western Sydney, not mono-cultural Artarmon. It’s a no-brainer.”

“This proposal opens up a number of opportunities for the region, and any number of cities would make for a great fit. Places like Bankstown for instance, which is home to a large pool of arts and creative young talent and is centrally located. With the Western Sydney University Bankstown CBD Campus on the way over the next couple of years, I think there’s some potential to create a shared site, with both tertiary, production-training and broadcasting functionality.”

“I’d be encouraging the councils of the West to take up the challenge and put forward ideas about where best to locate the SBS offices and studios, and propose a deal to make it happen” Brown said. 

Mr Brown said it was fitting “that SBS, which is recognised for championing acceptance and diversity, be based in Western Sydney, where it would be positioned to build a stronger connection with its audiences and have greater access to the many authentic, and untold stories of the region”.  

“If this proposal is delivered, it would not only represent a win for Western Sydney, but ultimately for SBS, which would be at the centre of the nation’s biggest cultural melting-pot, and where there are so many interesting, positive stories to be told,” he added.  

“It would help the region to tell its own stories and would provide a range of smart job opportunities for the region.”

Australian screen icon, acclaimed producer, and Bankstown ‘old boy’ Bryan Brown AM, also welcomed the Federal Opposition’s plan.

“Bringing Australia’s multicultural channel to the multi-cultural West. Good move!”, Mr (Bryan) Brown said.

Residents from Western Sydney  come from more than 170 countries and speak over 100 languages. Up to 35% of  locals are born overseas, while  60% of new immigrants settle in the region. Western Sydney is also  home to one of the biggest Indigenous populations in the nation, with more Indigenous residents than both South Australia or Victoria.

More information: Sarah Campbell, Communications Manager, sarah@westernsydney.org.au