Business

US giant GE to move to new $72m Springfield HQ

WARM WELCOME: Mayor of Ipswich Paul Pisasale and GE Australia and NZ chief executive Steve Sargent.
WARM WELCOME: Mayor of Ipswich Paul Pisasale and GE Australia and NZ chief executive Steve Sargent.

GLOBAL giant GE will base its Queensland headquarters in Springfield in a $72 million office complex.

The announcement by the US-based company yesterday comes hot on the heels of the Brisbane Lions' decision to locate their own $60 million-plus training and administration base in Springfield.

GE Australia aims to house the majority of its Queensland office-based employees in the purpose-built 14,000 square metre office building from early 2015.

The office has a capacity of 1200 and aims to achieve a five-star Green Star rating.

GE Australia and New Zealand CEO Steve Sargent said the Springfield move was "a no-brainer".

"We've got people in half a dozen buildings around the CBD area and we needed to find a site where we could co-locate everybody," Mr Sargent said.

"We are in a breadth of businesses including financial services, health care, aviation and oil and gas - so a typical office block doesn't always work for us.

"When you think about what our needs are, this is a very logical place to come. It is equidistant between downtown Brisbane and Ipswich and close to rail so it makes a lot of sense to us.

"Australia is a great country for GE and our largest country outside of the US for revenue. It is a great market for us."

Springfield Land Corporation chairman Maha Sinnathamby said he was "very excited" about GE's arrival.

"GE are the eighth-largest company in the Fortune 500, so for them to have their Queensland headquarters here means a lot to the future of this city taking shape," he said.

"This is going to give others confidence to also move in. A lot of jobs will be created directly and indirectly."

Mr Sinnathamby said negotiations had been in the works for three years.

"Our role has been to highlight what the benefits are to them," he said.

"They are very interested in what Mater (Hospital) are doing in terms of health. Mater have got council approval for 1200 beds.

"They see a lot of attractions for their involvement in education, with the university, and in terms of future energy requirements. In Springfield you have a predictable energy demand because of the growth rate concentrated in one spot."

Mr Sargent said GE's reach in Australia was vast.

"In Australia we make jet engines, so if you take a commercial flight in Australia there is a 70% chance you'll be powered by GE," he said.

"About 70% of the iron ore on the west coast and 50% of the coal on the east coast is hauled out by GE locomotives. We are the fifth or sixth largest lender in the country and about 50% of all imaging equipment in hospitals is (made by) GE. We are building six LNG trains out at Curtis Island right now. We also treat one hundred million litres of water in North Queensland before it goes out on the Great Barrier Reef."

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said it was another coup for Ipswich.

"To have one of the top companies in the world like GE setting up its base in good old Springfield is great for Ipswich," he said.

"We've just had the Lions move in and this is the start of many more big companies moving in.

"It is just that GE is wiser than everybody else. They are smarter than the average bear. They have seen the potential, taken their opportunity and now they are here."

GENERAL ELECTRIC

  • Queensland headquarters to be based in Springfield from early 2015.
  • GE Australia and NZ employs 6000 people.
  • GE is one of the United States biggest companies.
  • GE involvement in Australia dates to the 1890s.
  • GE is involved in fields such as aviation, electrical distribution, energy, finance, healthcare, lighting, oil and gas, transportation and water.

Topics:  general electric (ge), springfield


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