Prime Minister officially opens The Bendigo Centre
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd officially declared Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s new ‘green’ headquarters open for business today.
Hundreds of locals attended the Bank’s housewarming party, with the Prime Minister and Victorian Premier John Brumby the guests of honour.
Celebrations continued following the 11am official ceremony, with a festival held in the precinct and community tours of the centre.
The Bendigo Centre is one of the first Five Star Green Star designed buildings to be built in regional Australia and has created much interest in the regional city since construction began more than three years ago.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Chairman, Robert Johanson, said The Bendigo Centre is a unique and vibrant building and, being based in Bendigo, provides the Bank with a key strategic advantage.
“The Bendigo Centre has been built upon the solid foundations that have underpinned our business for 150 years,” he said.
“Bendigo has developed an alternative style of banking and by living and working in the communities we serve, we can gain a greater understanding of our customers and add value to their communities.
“We understand that a bank’s role should be to feed into prosperity not off it, and the welcome spaces and environmentally sustainable aspects of The Bendigo Centre reflects this,” Mr Johanson said.
Former employees, Frank Perrow and Doug Laity were also honoured during the celebrations, with the official opening of Perrow Walk and Laity Lane.
Their commitment to the company was recognised by Managing Director, Rob Hunt, who himself has been an employee of the Bank for 35 years and will retire in mid-2009.
“Long service has been a hallmark of Bendigo employees with Doug holding the record of 48 years with the company and Frank known to locals as ‘Mr Building Society’,” Mr Hunt said.
“It is fitting that we recognise their contribution to what is today, a national financial institution with 5000-plus employees.”
Mr Hunt described The Bendigo Centre as a statement of this era, just as Bendigo’s heritage buildings are a statement of their era.
“The Bendigo Centre, like the Bank, stands out for its difference, not its size and like us it’s determined to be relevant, connected and valued,” he said.
“The building is courageous and innovative and a strong statement of belief in ourselves and our home city.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is now undertaking planning for a similar Five Star Green Star designed building in Adelaide. The Bank will redevelop the site of the current Adelaide head office at 169 Pirie Street and a neighbouring property at 185-189 Pirie Street. Construction of the new facility should be complete by 2012.