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
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
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
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
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
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
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…?