The Woolstores Opening

(10am, Huntley Street Alexandria)

Thank you, Tim [Lowe, MC] and good morning, everyone.

I'm pleased to be here to launch the latest reincarnation of The Woolstores and to see another step in the revival of this "forgotten" part of our City - a "forgotten" part of the City that is rapidly coming back to life.

The potential of this area is reflected in the $8 billion invested in developments here. The City itself has committed $440 million to deliver our vision of Green Square as a thriving, liveable, sustainable community.

The Town Centre will be a hub for residential, retail and cultural activities.

We have already chosen winners of design competitions for the new Green Square library and public plaza, and for a fabulous aquatic centre and parkland.

We've earmarked funds for new roads, cycleways and pedestrian infrastructure and for drainage in the Green Square Town Centre. We're also creating more open space to cater for the influx of new workers and residents.

We're also planning new creative facilities at the old South Sydney Hospital site and a new public art program.

We're setting the benchmark high - where it should be set! - as a successful global city in this century is expected to be not simply an economic powerhouse but a place that offers a diverse array of experiences and attractions, that has a dynamic local culture and a strong sense of identity and place.

That is, in part, why heritage buildings like these woolstores are special, and why it is important that they be conserved and re-used.

Built by Stuart Bros between 1940 and 1942, they were originally a large groups spread over eight hectares. They were mass-produced and partially prefabricated timber sheds to be easily assembled during the wartime shortage of manpower.

They were built to stockpile the wool which couldn't be exported due to the war and the functional design was based on the standard size of a wool bale.

Sheds numbers 72, 73 and 74 are regarded as among the most intact and the group is seen by the National Trust and the NSW Heritage Office as being of state significance and an important reminder of the commercial and industrial past of Alexandria.

Now its industrial legacy is being transformed by innovative design, new housing, and bespoke business and retail.

The Woolstores is an excellent example of the new development, embracing office space, child-care, outdoor recreation and spaces for people to meet.

It symbolises the multi-layered City we are aspiring to achieve, a place for living, working and leisure time, a city where children and the elderly, and all the ages in between, feel welcome and at home.

Its tenants, too, including Swarovski, Living Edge furniture, Thiessen Krupp and Dyson, are representative of the brands which are being attracted to this area.

I'd like to congratulate the Trumen group on recognising the potential of these buildings and on carrying out this sensitive adaptive re-use.

I'm pleased to declare the Woolstores officially open.

Thank you all for your coming here today and I hope you'll share in our faith in the potential of this amazing part of Sydney.