Australia’s first community renewal PPP.

September 16, 2009  //  IBM BLOG POST

The “Newleaf” Bonnyrigg public private partnership (PPP), Australia’s first fully integrated community renewal scheme in conjunction with Housing NSW, has opened the doors on its first display homes. The Stage 1 release of 56 new homes for sale marks the culmination of three years of work by the private sector consortium driving the Bonnyrigg renewal project.

The partnership is providing tenancy and asset management services over the 30 year term of its contract with Housing NSW, with Becton Property Group (“Becton”) undertaking the physical renewal works; replacing 833 public housing dwellings with new homes and an additional 1,500 private dwellings for sale in 18 stages over the next 10 to 12 years.

Matthew Chun, CEO of Becton, the consortium partner responsible for planning and delivering the redevelopment, said “What makes our approach to community housing and urban renewal unique is the effort put into retaining and cultivating existing community attributes. Combining this approach with long term on-site management enables us to build an integrated community where people want to live and that provides opportunities for all. That’s our vision and this first stage is the opportunity to demonstrate that vision.

“To deliver on that concept, Newleaf (the name of the new development) focuses on much more than building homes, parks and local amenities. Over the last two years since the Newleaf team took over management of the existing 833 tenanted properties, a great deal of work has been done to establish a full range of community training, educational and activity programs.

“Building on the strengths of the existing local community is one of the core components in delivering a successful integrated community project. Becton has learned a great deal in this regard from seven years of experience with Kensington, a similar project we have in Victoria and we have incorporated much of that into Newleaf, particularly when it comes to setting up the not-for-profit partnership which is key to making the project work,” Mr Chun said.

“For example Bonnyrigg is one of the most culturally rich and diverse populations in the whole of Australia, evidenced by the number of churches and mosques from a range of different faiths that surround the site. Temples for Chinese, Lao and Khmer faiths sit alongside a Turkish Mosque and a Vietnamese temple and cultural centre. A further five churches of varying denominations are in turn supported by six community centres.

“This cosmopolitan mix means that the community programs, run and co-ordinated by Newleaf Communities, are the meeting points that bring the community together. In the past two years Newleaf Communities has established over 70 regular classes and courses ranging from computing skills to Tai Chi and swimming. The emphasis is on learning and a healthy and active lifestyle. Literature promoting this program and the redevelopment is published in seven languages and it is this attention to the local people that has brought in high attendance and prompted the growth of more courses.

“Additionally, in an area of historically low employment Newleaf Communities also secured a $1.8 million grant from the Federal Government’s Nation Building Jobs Fund. This will enable Newleaf to establish a local employment program that will provide further opportunities for local residents to learn new skills and move into full time employment.”

“We at Becton are extremely proud of the Newleaf Bonnyrigg project and it’s a testament to the hard work and commitment that has been shown by a large number of people over the past three years that we are now able to bring the project to this stage.” Mr Chun said.

Notes to editors:

The Bonnyrigg PPP is a 30 year $733 million public private partnership development between Housing NSW and Bonnyrigg Partnerships (trading as Newleaf Communities). Bonnyrigg Partnerships is a consortium of 4 partners: Becton Property Group (development, planning and construction), Westpac Banking Corporation (finance), Spotless Group (facilities management) and St George Community Housing Ltd. (tenancy management). The Partnership was established in 2007 and runs through to 2037. During the first 12 -15 years, the existing estate of 833 dwellings will be demolished in 18 stages and replaced by a master-planned community of more than 2,300 dwellings, new parks, open space, pavements, cycleways and roads. Newleaf Bonnyrigg is the first fully integrated private/community housing PPP in Australia.

Media Release – 16 September 2009