Wikimedia/Adam Carr

Turnbull opens Gateway House

FEDERAL Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull snipped a red, not blue, ribbon to open 'green' Gateway House yesterday.

The Liberal leader joined Bachrach Group directors Max and Rodney Naumburger, Cowper Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker; Bachrach Group general manager Steve Gooley and a group of construction and development identities at the official opening of the $13 million building, which houses Coffs Harbour's 350-staff Centrelink call centre.

Mr Turnbull, who also praised the work of Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker as a 'relentless advocate' for his electorate, said Gateway was the only ABGR five star rated office building between Sydney and Brisbane.

He said there was an enormous opportunity for energy efficiency in the built environment, which was overlooked in the Rudd Government's emissions scheme.

Mr Turnbull said a Coalition government would double the rate of depreciation for green refits for water and energy to give greater initial incentives to building owners, who would also see their investment pay off over several years in reduced costs

Mr Gooley said Centrelink had increased their local workforce by about 200 people since moving into the Gateway late last year and the local call centre had played a major role in the delivery of services for people caught up in the recent Victorian bushfires.

Uniting Care Burnside is also about to move into Gateway House.

Burnside is an agency of the Uniting Church that provides services focusing on the care and protection of vulnerable families, children and young people.

Mr Gooley paid tribute to the 'audacity' of Park Beach Plaza, HomeBase and Gateway developer Max Naumburger of Bachrach Group, who he described as 'a bit of a pioneer' for his development of the three projects over more than 30 years when many people said they would not prosper.

Gateway was designed by Coffs Harbour architect Vil Brickman, project managed by Greg Benson of De Groot and Benson and built by FM Glenn Constructions and local sub-contractors.

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