Century old printer kicked out by Metro

Bragg Printing is facing eviction from its premises in Waterloo outside Sydney’s CBD – just as it prepares for its centenary celebrations next year.

Company owner Arthur Habib is smarting after being told his site on Cope Street is being compulsorily acquired for the proposed new Waterloo Metro train station.

Habib says, “The government has watertight legislation, they tell us there is nothing we can do. They have told us we have to be out in six or seven months.

“We are now in limbo and in the hands of the costly legal system with conflicting information in regard to the valuation of our building and relocation costs, which will be considerable as we have six offset presses, some historical letterpress presses and various finishing equipment. We are not able to make any move until such time that we have some firm figures to work with for a building and relocation.”

The Bragg Printing premises are part of the block the government is acquiring.

Habib says, “At first we were delighted when Waterloo was chosen as the site for the station and we all assumed it would be built on the 18 hectares of government land that sits across the road from us in Cope Street. But it turns out the government is doing a land grab from small business at the bottom end of town to on-sell the air space together with its public housing estate to developers in the big end of town."

“Buildings on the market in this area are scarce, and in the last eight months, due to the WestConnex compulsory acquisitions, the demand for commercial premises has accelerated causing a dramatic increase in prices.  

"The whole system is tilted in favour of the government. Now we are faced with a real dilemma, everyone knows how expensive moving printing equipment is. We do not want to move out of the area, as we have serviced some of our clients here for more than 60 years.”

Bragg Printing was established in 1917 in the Sydney CBD by the Bragg family.

They bought the land in Cope Street, Waterloo in the 1950s and purpose-built their own factory after Habib bought the business 35 years ago.

The company is still a family business, which was in the process of being handed on to the younger family members who have all been a part of the business all their lives. 

They had big plans underway for the business – incorporating the traditional general commercial offset printing within a new and innovative project.

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