BY CAROLINE WAGNER
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has announced it plans to relocate its Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park and Lidcombe offices to the Australian Technology Park (ATP), a shift of 10,000 jobs.
The move comes following the acquisition of the technology hub by developer Mirvac for $263 million.
Politicians in Sydney’s west have since encouraged Commonwealth customers to close their accounts in protest of the move, though the bank claims 1000 jobs with remain in Parramatta.
There are concerns from inner city residents that the influx of jobs will burden the surrounding areas of Redfern and Alexandria.
Geoff Turnbull of REDWatch, a Redfern community group, said that when Channel 7 moved to the ATP, there were problems with workers driving in and being unable to park.
He said Redfern could also struggle with people “potentially moving closer to their work”.
“Any development there is going to increase the pressure of people wanting to live in the area. If you bring in 10,000 jobs, then you’re going to have those people wanting to live in close proximity,” he said.
“It’s part of a much broader change that’s happening in the area.”
Ben Aveling of the Alexandria Residents’ Action Group (ARAG)said they were anticipating “10,000 people moving into buildings yet to be built”.
“Alexandria will need more transport, schools – everything we we’re already short of,” he said.
Mirvac have declared transportation will not be an issue, however, due to proximity to Redfern station.
Mr Aveling said that the station and surrounding roads were “already close to capacity”, and that this added “stress” would cause traffic nightmares.
Mr Turnbull said that the proposed Waterloo Metro Station was another reason that Mirvac thought there would be no transporation issues.
But he said he thought the redevelopment of surrounding areas would have “huge implications” for local residents.
Mr Aveling said ARAG was disappointed that tech giant Atlassian would not be redeveloping the Australian Technology Park.
Atlassian was formerly in a bid for redevelopment of the park, but lost out to Mirvac.
“We think Atlassian has the jobs of the future. Jobs are jobs…but they’re not the ones we were hoping for.”
“I suppose you can never say no to employment, but you’ve got to feel sorry for Western Sydney.”
Mr Aveling also said that the Commonwealth Bank “was trying to get links to where they are now [in Parramatta] improved. It was a traffic nightmare for them; they’ve had to run shuttle buses.”
“It’s really a story of failure to make where they are work,” he said.