Liverpool is a regional city that is strategically positioned for business and investment opportunities in the South West corridor of NSW with a winning combination of location, a lower cost of doing business and abundant economic resources.
The case studies below explain the great work that our local businesses are doing.
Locally developed technologies are changing the world
From its headquarters in Liverpool, ABB Australia exporting its leading technology to recycle greenhouse gas emissions to the world. In 2012, ABB patented its world first technology to recycle SF6 gas to technical grade purity, technology which has the potential to effectively close the loop on greenhouse gases.
ABB Australia’s award-winning SF6 Recycling Centre is one of the many innovations that have cemented
the company’s reputation as one of the world’s leading power and automation engineering companies.
Founded in 1883, the Swiss headquartered company ships more than a million of its products to customers around the globe every day. With a presence in more than 100 countries and a global workforce of more than 150,000 people, ABB has pioneered many of the power and automation technologies that have shaped the world.
In Australia, ABB’s countrywide presence includes operations in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin and Melbourne. Of its 2,000 domestic employees, more than 400 are based at their headquarters in Moorebank.
ABB inherited the 60,000sqm site in between 1989-1991 after they acquired Westinghouse Electric USA’s international transformer operations. According to Business Unit Manager for Low Voltage Systems, Kelvin Wong, the decision for ABB to stay in the local are was made easy due to a number of factors.
“As a reasonably large site, the Moorebank facility has allowed us to significantly grow our operations in recent years. It’s also not far from Sydney’s CBD and airport, is close to road transport networks, and we have strong working relationships with local suppliers,” said Mr. Wong.
In 2013 ABB made the decision to relocate its Head Office and executive management team from Sydney’s CBD to Moorebank in order to be closer to the people at the forefront of its manufacturing operations.
“One of the benefits of doing business in the Liverpool region is having access to a large pool of people from diverse backgrounds who live in the area, are at the forefront of their profession and have a passion for technology,” said Mr. Wong.
The Liverpool region also offers untapped potential for businesses like this to take advantage of global megatrends such as urbanisation, population growth and sustainability.
“These trends, along with the proliferation of the internet, have spurred a drive for energy efficiency, productivity and the integration of renewable resources like solar energy and grid liability. ABB is well positioned to capitalise on these opportunities through innovations such as our SF6 Recycling Centre,” Mr. Wong said.
A Place To Call Home For Sydney’s Leading Business College
Liverpool offers more educational facilities than any other city centre in the State. It is also the headquarters of one of Sydney’s leading business college – the Australian Careers Business College (ACBC).
ACBC is a nationally recognised private vocational educational provider that specialises in preparing students for rewarding careers through its combination of classroom training and work experience.
Founded in Liverpool in 1996 by chief executive officer Ann Elisha, the ACBC was borne out of Ann’s vision to create a better way of providing quality education with a strong link to the community. Twenty years on, ACBC now has three campuses in Liverpool, Parramatta and Wollongong, and has provided a pathway to further education or employment for more than 5000 students.
ACBC offers Diploma and Advanced Diploma qualifications across nine vocational areas including accounting, business administration, early childhood education and care, counselling, leadership and management, legal services, marketing, network security, sport development and travel and tourism.
“We offer an opportunity to transition whether it is a stepping stone to university or a career change,” acting general manager and director of studies, Jeremy McNamara said.
ACBC’s key difference from other education providers is its structured work program. As part of their training, students are offered an optional on-the-job work experience program in addition to their academic learning.
This gives students the opportunity to be mentored by industry professionals, build a relationship with the business they are placed in and have a greater chance of pursuing the career they want. With a graduation rate of 70 per cent compared to the national average of 35 per cent, an even higher student outcome is reflected in the fact that around 90 per cent of ACBC students go on to study at the university of their choice or work in their chosen vocation.
In February 2016, ACBC invested $5.5 million in the development of its new Liverpool campus on Memorial Avenue. “The more the region grows and the more families with school aged children come to live here, the more opportunity there is for us,” Jeremy said.
State-of-The-Art Warehouse Distribution Network
From its state-of-the-art warehouse in Liverpool, Blum Australia supplies a distribution network that supports 7,000 cabinet-makers and kitchen manufacturers across Australia with high-quality kitchen furniture and fittings.
Blum Australia was established in 1997 as one of 23 subsidiaries located around the world for the Austrian-based family company.
Originally based in Marrickville, in 2000 the company moved to its first dedicated warehouse in Moorebank. With increased demand for Blum’s product in Australia, the company quickly outgrew its new premises and in 2010 made the decision to move to new purpose-built premises.
Blum Australia’s Managing Director Brett Ambrose said finding the right location for their new head office and warehouse facility was no small feat. “We wanted to build the same sort of automated warehouse that Blum has around the world,” Ambrose said. “But to do that we needed to find something that is pretty hard to find in Sydney – a large, undeveloped site not already in the hands of property developers that we could buy outright and build on. And what we wanted to build was very different to your average warehouse.”
The warehouse that Blum built at Len Waters Estate in Liverpool is one of three businesses (including distribution centres for Big W and Masters hardware) at the former Hoxton Park Airport. The facility includes an unusually large warehouse which is 30 metres high and 100 metres long, serviced by three automated stock-retrieval cranes, a kitchen showroom and training facilities for up to 50 people. The site also provided five vital ingredients Blum sought for its relocation – accessibility to Port Botany, the M7, M5 and M4, and a skilled workforce.
With 50 employees around Australia and nearly 30 warehouse and office staff in the Liverpool premises, Ambrose said that Blum is one of the many businesses seeing the untapped potential of the region’s skilled workforce. And potential employees are increasingly looking to locally based businesses for employment.
“With more and more modern businesses with good facilities opening up and new residential precincts being built either side of us, there is a growing pool of professionals that are attracted to staying in the area for work. From a lifestyle point of view, I suspect there will be more people living here thinking, ‘Do I want travel to the city or do I want to work in a modern, family-friendly business that gives me back the extra hour or two a day I would spend travelling to the CBD?'” said Ambrose.
Liverpool Top 100 eatery rivals Sydney's best
In June 2014, Gemelle Restaurant & Function Centre put Liverpool on the Sydney food map when it was ranked as one of the Top 100 restaurants in Australia in the Dimmi People’s Choice Awards. Ranked in the top 20 restaurants across Australia and voted as the third most popular Italian restaurant in NSW, Gemelle’s award was determined by the results of over 250,000 reviews submitted by verified Dimmi diners in the last 12 months.
The CEO of Dimmi, Stevan Premutico, said that, “The recurring theme [of the Awards] is one of perceived value for money but that doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. The experience needs to deliver a real wow moment, whether it is a place that is best for views or a local gem that just understands a simple menu that hits the mark. It’s clear that consumers want to be inspired and every dining experience really matters.”
According to the restaurant’s General Manager, Mathew Sofi, winning the award came as a surprise to the family-owned business but it was recognition for the hard work and risks the business has taken to reinvent itself in recent years.
“Being in the company of high profile Sydney restaurants like Buon Ricardo, Aria, Quay, Rockpool Bar &Grill, Berta and A Tavola has taken us a long way towards our dream of becoming an icon in Greater Western Sydney,” Mr Sofi said.
Gemelle Restaurant & Function Center was opened by Swava Sofi in 1993 and later moved from one side of Bathurst Street to its current location on the opposite corner in 1997. After working in the business since he was 10 years old, Mr Sofi, took over the management of the restaurant in 2012 and has since overseen Gemelle’s transformation from a ‘same-same’ traditional Italian restaurant to an unexpected success in Sydney’s modern fine-dining scene.
Catering for up to 320 diners in a sitting, the 160-seat restaurant and 180-seat function room currently dishes up in excess of 1,000 covers every week. Aside from the corporate and special occasion part of the business, only a small percentage of its restaurant clientele is coming from the local area and Mr Sofi believes the growth in the number of new residential buildings and professional services companies coming into the area will help bring new people to the area.
According to Mr Sofi, a growing population, proximity to institutions such as the Liverpool Hospital (one of Gemelle’s corporate clients) and lower costs are amongst the benefits of doing business in Liverpool.
Mr Sofi also believes that the Council’s Building Our New City initiative will bring more business opportunities to the area. “The more that the image of the area improves and the more people and businesses that come here, the better things can get for all of us,” Mr Sofi said.
World leader lights up Liverpool
For more than 100 years French based Legrand has been a world leader in the design and manufacture of electrical switches and sockets for the home. With a presence in more than 70 countries, a global workforce of more than 35,000 people and an international network of design studios and factories, the company has been operating in Australia since 1954 and trading as HPM Legrand after it purchased HPM in 2007.
HPM Legrand is the global leader in designing and manufacturing products for electrical and digital building infrastructures. The company manufactures and distributes more than 15,000 SKUs (products) under five premium brands – HPM, Legrand, BTicino, Cablofil and Nelson – to a broad range of electrical customers throughout Australia and New Zealand.
In 2011, HPM Legrand made the strategic decision to consolidate its existing operations in NSW and Victoria and move its head office and manufacturing operations to Prestons, in the Liverpool Local Government Area.
The company initially considered relocating to Melbourne and other locations within the Sydney metropolitan area. However, according to National Projects Manager Stuart Mackie, Liverpool offered all the right ingredients– affordability, accessibility and skilled workforce.
With attractive lease costs and lower outgoings, bolstered by support from the NSW Investment Attraction Scheme, the financial benefits to HPM Legrand were made even more attractive by the logistical strength of the new location.
The Prestons site, at the intersection of the M7 and M5 Motorways and major arterial roads, enables easy access for more than 30 deliveries to and from the warehouse every day.
The company also anticipated a broad and growing pool of local people would be interested in working for HPM Legrand, which employs about 290 of its 400-strong workforce at Prestons. Human Resources Manager Paul Bowie said although it was early days, there were already signs that the move had been a success. “We’ve already seen the financial benefits and back office advantages,” Bowie said. “And from a human resources perspective, we’ve seen improved internal communication, increased synergy, and a reduction in wasted time and resources.”
HPM Legrand is positive about the future. With strong growth in the commercial and residential development sector and major developments such as the new Badgerys Creek airport, the South West Rail Line and other commercial and residential developments near the M5 and M7 corridors on the horizon, the company is ready to capitalise on future opportunities.
Great for the region's health
In the early 1990’s, CEO Andrew Geftakis launched Liverpool Day Surgery with a vision to provide a dedicated medical team offering consistent and affordable first class healthcare to the community of Sydney’s Great South West. Twenty-five years later, Liverpool Day Surgery has completed more than 100,000 medical procedures, employs 40 nursing staff and provides the most up-to-date technology to support the work of some of the region’s leading specialists.
When the business opened in 1991, the concept of day surgery was well established in the United States but it was a fairly new concept in Australia and one that Liverpool Day Surgery saw had great potential for the region. “When we first looked at the site it was a small shopping centre but we had a vision to bring something unique to the area that would benefit the local community. It was a big dream and we’ve seen it realised,” Geftakis said. “We wanted Liverpool Day Surgery to offer something different to what was currently available to patients and doctors. Our approach has been an open door policy with minimum bureaucracy hindering operations with red tape."
The surgery currently admits approximately 6,000 patients every year for specialist surgical procedures including endoscopy/gastroscopy, colonoscopy, IVF, bowel cancer treatment, orthopaedic services, dental procedures and cataract surgery.
According to Tony, the strength of the region’s growing healthcare sector has been instrumental to the growth of the family-owned and operated business that he runs with his brother, Peter. By providing affordable premises for specialist medical practitioners, (including some of the Great South West’s most respected surgeons), the private practice has alleviated some of the burden on the public health system and offered patients greater local choice for their healthcare.
As the largest hospital in NSW and one of Australia’s leading trauma centres, Liverpool Hospital is also the principal teaching hospital for the University of NSW Medical Faculty and Western Sydney University. The surgery has built its reputation on the combination of affordable quality healthcare and state-of-the art equipment and facilities for both surgeons and patients. Looking to the future, Tony and Peter are on the look out for opportunities to expand and improve through offering more specialities and increasing the volume of patients they are able to accommodate within the existing site. “With more people and medical professionals moving here, we want to ensure we stay at the forefront of the industry by continuing to introduce new operations systems, technology and procedures to South West Sydney,” Peter said.
Waking up and smell the coffee
Frank Angilletta is the owner of Ristretto & Co, a thriving café business with two premises in the heart of Liverpool. He’s also at the forefront of the city’s changing café and restaurant scene,
When Frank opened Ristretto in 2012, he unlocked a latent coffee culture and quickly built a solid following in the local community. Four years down the track, Frank has built his own business and inspired other businesses to open in the area.
The original Ristretto & Co Café was a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ on Northumberland Street with two employees serving good coffee and a limited takeaway food menu. After the concept proved successful, Frank expanded the original premises into a 40-seat café with a more extensive but simple café menu and now employs 15 staff.
Speaking about his experience of living and working in the inner city of Sydney and returning to where he grew up (in Liverpool) to raise his own young family, Frank believes that bringing food trends from elsewhere is a good thing for the area. “It’s a matter of getting the right people involved and social media and marketing is key. But you have to make sure its done properly and strategically,” Frank said. In 2015, Frank set his sights on his next business challenge – a pop-up café in Bigge Park, known as The Shed. He approached Liverpool City Council about turning an old garden shed located on the grounds into a kiosk as part of the Council’s ‘Building Our New City’ initiative.
With the Council’s approval, Ristretto & Co plans to make The Shed a permanent fixture. They are also having a lot of fun breaking the mould in terms of what is currently available on the local food scene. In May 2016, Ristretto & Co collaborated with popular mobile Middle Eastern bakery, Knafeh, to open a night pop-up alongside The Shed serving it’s popular Jerusalem street food desserts on Thursday to Sunday nights for two weeks.
The pop-up attracted hundreds of customers every night, highlighting what Frank believes to be a big opportunity for Liverpool – the creation of a ‘night economy’.
“The pop-up with Knafeh proved again, (as we’ve done it with Ristretto & Co), that if you build it people will come. And there is plenty of opportunity here as more businesses and people move to the area over the next five to 10 years,” Frank said.
Liverpool is a win for Slater and Gordon
Slater and Gordon is one of Australia’s most successful and well known consumer law firms. Founded in Melbourne in 1935, the company has grown from humble beginnings servicing the needs of unions and working people, to become a household name with more than 70 offices across Australia and 13 locations in the UK.
With a reputation for defending the rights of ordinary, everyday Australians through its ‘no win, no fee’ pricing structure, Slater and Gordon is best known for its experience in running complex and large scale class actions. The company provides specialist legal services to individuals in a range of practice areas including all areas of liability and compensation law, as well as other general legal services in areas such as family and relationship law, conveyancing, wills and estate planning.
Recognising the business opportunity that the region’s fast-growing population presents, in 2010 Slater and Gordon opened its Liverpool office, specialising in personal injury and compensation legal services. “Part of our company’s commitment in providing legal services is to get access to as many people as we can and being in Liverpool gives us that. It’s a gateway to the ever-growing population in the Greater Western Sydney region,” Practice Group Leader for their Liverpool and Campbelltown Offices, Michael Lawandi said.
According to Mr Lawandi a lot has changed in the Liverpool region in the relatively short time that Slater and Gordon has been in the area. “Since 2010, there has been an influx of new businesses into the area and the City Centre has undergone a facelift. It’s a clean environment and things like street frontages, parking and other public facilities have certainly improved. There’s also a lot more happening in terms of local events and activities. I think the Council has played a large role in transforming the area and bringing new people and businesses here,” Mr Lawandi said. He also believes there is a lot of untapped potential in the area for professional service providers, like those offered by Slater and Gordon. “There’s quite a lot of competition here, but there’s also a lot of opportunity and we all seem to get our fair share of business. In Liverpool, there’s a mixture of business people and tradespeople who all need access to affordable legal and other professional services to help grow their business,” Mr Lawandi said.