Design Excellence Forum - Green Square

(6.30pm, Thursday 4 March 2013, Lower Town Hall)

Thank you, Graham. Hello, everyone. Welcome to this exciting forum on the new Green Square Library and Plaza.

I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.

In a moment, Stephen Varady - who was our fantastic competition Registrar- will take us through the five short-listed schemes, and he'll then introduce the winner.

We are really excited about this project. It's a major piece of community infrastructure on one of the biggest and most significant development sites in Australia.

Green Square will eventually provide 20,000 new jobs, and be home to 48,000 new residents. It's a huge urban renewal which will transform the southern part of our city.

The City is working in partnership with LandCom, Leightons and Mirvac, and our commitment from the start has been to get the armature of streets and public spaces and community facilities right. We've always said we would provide the community facilities as the community arrives - and tonight we're moving one step forward to keeping that promise.

This is a hugely important site, and a real opportunity for us to build an outstanding centre which will be at the heart of the cultural, commercial and retail hub of Green Square.

The design competition has enable us to seek innovation and creativity and cast our net as widely as possible, and find new talent, we'd hoped for someone who might be able to expand our own visions for the site, and give us something we hadn't envisaged.

I think the winning project has done that.

The competition has been run according to Institute of Architects guidelines, and it has been very much at arm's length from the City and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our jury - a jury of extraordinary calibre, so my warmest thanks to Glenn Murcutt, George Hargreaves, John Denton, Rachel Neeson, Sharan Harvey and Stuart McCreery.

Thank you also to our shortlisted teams for your efforts and your inspirations. I hope it has been a worthwhile experience for you all, and I wish all of you the very best.

Thanks to everyone for being here tonight.