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Committee for Geelong's Weekly Addy Opinion Piece - Techne NDIA Win

The recent announcement that local firm Techne Development has been awarded the contract to build the new national headquarters of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) here in Geelong is great news.

There is no doubt that getting the green light for this $120 million project on the former Carlton Hotel site on Malop Street is a terrific win for a local family business.  The new headquarters proposed by Techne will be world class.  It will be a nine level, 6 Star Greenstar and 5 Star NABER's rated building, it will have views over Corio Bay and the design by architects Woods Bagot is set to make it a new signature building for Geelong.

And, of course, the project will create hundreds of jobs for Geelong workers and their families.

This announcement is a timely and tangible demonstration that Geelong businesses can mix it with the best in the nation when it comes to competing for - and winning - major work. 

Techne is a family company and was established in Geelong 38 years ago by Michael Vickers-Willis, and is now run by his son Scott - the fifth generation of this Geelong family.  It is great to see that Techne offered a local solution for this important piece of infrastructure, and also demonstrated that they had the ability to meet the specific requirements of the Federal Government.

And while the win is clearly terrific news for the Techne team, the positive implications are much broader than for just the Vickers-Willis family and their investors, many of whom are based in Geelong.

With a number of local companies working with Techne on the design and planning of the project, the new National NDIA Headquarters will be a significant showcase for the highly-skilled people and businesses in Victoria's second largest city.

The new national NDIA headquarters is another critical cornerstone of the emerging picture of Geelong as a national hub for Australia's social insurance industry.

Think Traffic Accident Commission (TAC), think WorkSafe and now think NDIA all headquartered in Geelong, and there are bound to be opportunities for businesses who choose to rise to the challenge.

Our city is leading as Australia's capital of social insurance.  As evidenced by the Committee's recently released Winning from Second research, there is further potential to expand Geelong's status as a global hub for social insurance with existing public and private insurers, leveraging the existing organisations that have established in Geelong.  Many of these opportunities can be for businesses and organisations from our region.

Our community can now start thinking about how it can leverage these opportunities that major organisations have brought- and will bring - to our region, and how they can be capitalised on.

It is clear that large organisations will have their needs met by companies confident enough and experienced enough to deliver quality outcomes.

Techne has just demonstrated very clearly that it can be done by companies with a 3220 postcode. The question is, which Geelong company will be next…?

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