Workplace of The Future Launch

(11.45am 10 August 2011, MLC Centre)

Thank you, Michael Cameron, CEO GPT. I would like firstly to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, and pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.

I am really pleased to be here today, seeing the transformation that GPT has made.

It directly addresses the issues that we at the City have been promoting: action to adapt Sydney to the era of climate change and scarce resources.

It also bears out our message that sustainability is smart business.

The refurbishment of a 33-year-old building - albeit one by Harry Seidler, designed to last - aims for a six-star green star rating at the same time as it improves the working lives of staff.

The redesign has enabled a major reduction in the number of floors occupied - from five to three - an expected halving of occupancy energy costs; a 70 per cent reduction in lighting energy consumption and a 90 per cent reduction in the use of paper.

As Michael said, smart design has turbo-charged business growth and provided a much improved working environment for staff.

This extends to the materials used in construction and fittings, improvements to lighting and air quality and - I'm delighted to see - secure cycling spaces and change and shower facilities as well as a first aid room that doubles as a child-friendly space.

It's a tremendous achievement and one you can all be proud of - and enjoy!

It's no surprise to us, though, as the GPT group is a founding member of our Better Buildings Partnership. This involves Sydney's major building owners in a bid to help us reach our sustainability targets and ensure we remain a vital business hub in the Asia-Pacific.

The Partnership is chaired by Bruce Precious whose hand can certainly be seen here. He has been a driving force to the Better Buildings Partnership as well, giving so much of his time, his vision and energy to getting change in the sector. So thank you, Bruce.

Once again, I congratulate the GPT group, the architects Woods Bagot and everyone involved in this fantastic new space. You've given us an inspiring new benchmark for Sydney - so thank you!