government technology tech sydney new business hub
Atlassian will work to create ‘Australia’s Silicon Valley’ in a new Sydneytech hub * The NSW government has announced it will establish a new technology industry hub in Sydney, at the south end of the city. * NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian envisions it as Australia’s version of Silicon Valley, and is looking for a name for the new zone. * Global tech giant Atlassian will work with the state government on the project, with co-founder Scott Farquhar saying the plan sends “a really strong signal to the world that Sydney is open for business for technology, the largest industry on the planet.” * The hub’s ambition is to be home to 10,000 new jobs by 2036.* * *The NSW government is partnering with Atlassian to create a new technologyinnovation hub in Sydney.NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Minister for Trade and Industries Niall Blairand Atlassian co-CEO and co-founder Scott Farquhar unveiled the plan thismorning.“This will be the home of 10,000 new jobs in the future, it will beAustralia’s version of Silicon Valley,” Berejiklian said.“We’ll make sure that every person around the world wants to work here. Thebest and brightest locally, but also the best and brightest around the worldwanting to work here for those tech innovation jobs.”The government hopes the precinct, at the south end of the Sydney CBD betweenCentral station and Eveleigh, will cement the city’s reputation as theinnovation capital of Australia. It is a huge turnaround from a failedproposal by Atlassian in 2015 to develop the Australian Technology Park inEveleigh, which the state government rejected in favour of a $263 million bidby the Commonwealth Bank and Mirvac, the property development giant.A taskforce, headed by Jobs for NSW chair David Thodey, will lead design anddevelopment of the new precinct.Co-CEO and co-founder of Atlassian Scott Farquhar said it would help the nextgeneration of tech startups grow.“Fifteen years ago there was no technology precinct or technology industry inAustralia,” said Farquhar, speaking at a launch event this morning atProtoSpace, an advanced manufacturing facility at the University ofTechnology, Sydney.“As computer science graduates the best we could hope for was working at abank or a consultancy organisation… and Mike and I weren’t up for that. Sowith a healthy dose of naivety we started out on our own.“Fast-forward to today, Sydney now has a thriving tech industry. We have VC…we have great universities, we have lots of startups, we have tech incubators,and we have co-working spaces, but what we’ve been missing until today is ahome.“I’m really excited we’re establishing this tech precinct in Sydney, I thinkwe have finally found a home for technology here in Sydney.“Today we sent a really strong signal to the world that Sydney is open forbusiness for technology, the largest industry on the planet.”Representatives from University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney andSydney Business Chamber will join the taskforce.The location of the hub was chosen due to the transport and infrastructuredevelopment in the city, as well as the established technology sector.“Forty per cent of startups are based here in Sydney, 40% of [Australia’s] R&Dis based in Sydney, now this hub is going to underpin that and allow us togrow when it comes to our tech footprint in NSW,” Blair said.“It’s an environment, an ecosystem where the industry will grow and thegovernment is backing it all the way.”Blair added: “The Central to Eveleigh area is uniquely placed as an innovationprecinct and is ideal for technology firms to attract and retain Australianand international talent.”The government will also consult industry experts, such as Atlassian, toensure the success of the precinct.Other industry players including co-working space Fishburners, and industryrepresentative body Tech Sydney, will work with the government to co-createthe precinct.“We’re going to take advice from all the stakeholders that are here about whatto do because we want to attract the best talent from around the nation,people want to have a cool place to work and live, and also to entertainthemselves so this precinct will be a mix of all those things but primarily acreator of jobs,” said Berejiklian.The Premier would not put a cost against the project. She said the stategovernment has already dedicated “quite a few dollars” in relation tosupporting existing startups and will potentially forgo on land for thedevelopment of this new precinct.## ‘Australia’s version of Silicon Valley’Berejiklian says the government will try to find a name for the precinct.She hopes it will be something “cool” similar to Silicon Valley “to generatethat level of excitement and interest”.The new unnamed precinct in Eveleigh will work separately to recently launchedSydney Startup Hub near Wynyard Station.A spokesperson for the Premier told Business Insider the new precinct wouldnot replace the hub, which the state government is investing $35 million intoover five years, but complement the facility.“Sydney Startup Hub is an exceptionally popular space for growing technologyand innovation firms,” they said.“We expect Sydney Startup Hub to have a long and successful future.“Naturally, over time, some companies currently working there may gravitate tothe technology precinct that the Premier announced today.”## What now for White Bay?Today’s announcement appears to spell the end of the government’s previousplan for a tech hub based around the disused White Bay power station at GlebeIsland, beside the Anzac Bridge.Former Premier Mike Baird flagged first flagged the idea, in 2015, saying theold power station, which includes 10 hectares of industrial waterfront land,would become “a global centre for hi-tech jobs and innovation”.He said it would be “like London’s Tech City, New York’s Roosevelt Island, andCalifornia’s Silicon Valley.”Google spent 18 months in talks about basing its Australia HQ there beforepulling out of the deal in April 2017 over concerns about a lack of transportaccess to the area.The government body UrbanGrowth NSW, now charged with redeveloping the areaaround the heritage-listed power station, said it was committed to creating atech precinct there as recently as last year.“The NSW government under Gladys Berejiklian said it remains committed toturning White Bay into a tech hub,” an Urbangrowth NSW spokesperson toldBusiness Insider in 2017.The spokesperson for the Premier told Business Insider today that thegovernment’s vision for White Bay is still as an employment hub.“Urban Growth is developing a masterplan for the site and working withindustry, community and government stakeholders to determine appropriate usesfor the area.”It’s now likely that whichever company takes occupancy of the area willinfluence what shape that precinct takes.The Eveleigh announcement comes after the NSW government previously rejected a2015 bid by Atlasssian to take control of the adjacent Australian TechnologyPark (ATP) in Redfern. Instead it was sold to a consortium led by theCommonwealth Bank, which is consolidating its operations on the inner citysite.Atlassian was devastated at the rejection of the ATP proposal, with Farquhartelling Business Insider at the time that there was “no plan B” and that itwas a “huge missed opportunity” for the state government.ATP developer Mirvac pledged that up to 75,000sqm of floor space at the sitewould be reserved for technology uses and also signed a MOU with theUniversity of Sydney to support digital and creative industries. It plans toturn the former locomotive workshop at the Eveleigh railyards into a dedicatedspace for technology and innovation users and startups.### Business Insider Emails & AlertsSite highlights each day to your inbox.Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, andInstagram.