The announcement was made during a visit to Bankstown.
It comes following repeated calls from local politicians and business leaders for the multicultural broadcaster to move to a western Sydney hub such as Parramatta or Liverpool.
“Western Sydney is one of Australia’s most diverse and fast-growing areas and SBS is Australia’s most diverse multi-platform digital broadcaster,” the announcement read.
“But there is an imbalance in infrastructure, skilled jobs and cultural investment in western Sydney; and the proposed relocation of SBS has been mooted for years.
“The feasibility study will examine the merits of addressing the inequality in western Sydney by utilising and leveraging the public’s investment in the nation’s multicultural broadcaster, the SBS.”
The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue released a statement congratulating the opposition on its instigation of the possible relocation, referring to the move as a “no-brainer”, given the multiculturalism of western Sydney and the nature of the national media service which broadcasts in 68 different languages including Italian, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Mandarin, Slovenian, Thai and Vietnamese.
The announcement has left different councils vying for the investment, with Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour spruiking the City of Canterbury Bankstown as “one of the most multi-cultural cities in Australia”.
Italian is the eighth most spoken language at home other than English in the City of Canterbury Bankstown, with 6030 speakers registered at the 2016 census.
“Our City thrives on diversity, harmony and respect of each other’s different cultures,” Asfour continued.
He said that SBS’s relocation to Canterbury-Bankstown would make sense, following a commitment for a new $1.3 billion Bankstown Hospital and with Western Sydney University proposing to construct a new 7000-student campus in Bankstown.
Western Sydney Business Chamber executive director David Borger said there were many areas in the city’s west with “excellent and improving transport links” and “significant new investment in commercial offices, civic infrastructure and new retail” which would make them great choices for the headquarters.
“These areas provide SBS with a talent pool, allow the broadcaster to be physically located closer to its audience, and have the added benefit of stimulating activity in one of the city centres of western Sydney.
“Parramatta and Bankstown would have a strong claim, and probably Liverpool as well,” he said.