Calls for Google to locate its new headquarters in the Wollongong area have gathered momentum.
The Illawarra Business Chamber is the latest to support the proposal, lead by NSW Shadow Treasurer and Keira MP Ryan Park.
The chamber says Google would benefit from Illawarra’s highly-qualified graduates, a culture of innovation and competitive advantages in areas such as lifestyle and affordable and available land.
The call comes from the region’s peak business body after the NSW Government rejected a second unsolicited proposal by Mirvac for the Technology Hub to be based at Eveleigh in Sydney.
That proposal included Google as the anchor tenant.
Following that decision Mr Park called for Wollongong to be considered as a potential site for the new development being planned by Google.
Chamber executive director Adam Zarth said NEC Australia’s hugely successful relocation to the region, which has created more than 100 jobs, showed Wollongong’s potential to accommodate such a significant tech related businesses.
Mr Zarth said the chamber agrees that the Illawarra is well-placed to house any future technology hub development.
He said the business community will support such proposals as they represent an opportunity for the region’s information and communications technology (ICT) professionals to work locally, and create immense flow-on benefits to Illawarra businesses.
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“A technology hub would make perfect sense for the Illawarra where we have the University of Wollongong producing more than 1000 ICT graduates each year, a stable workforce, lower operating costs and a pro-investment approach to opportunities of this scale,” Mr Zarth said.
“The region is well located being only 85 kilometres south of the Sydney CBD and has the capacity – in terms of both population and associated businesses – to support a significant technology hub.
“Business leaders in the Illawarra will continue to focus on how we might attract a technology hub to our region, and we would hope that any such opportunities would receive favourable consideration by the NSW Government.
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Mr Zarth said the University of Wollongong had an international reputation for the size, strength and quality of its ICT teaching and research and was ranked as the best university in Australia for Computing and Information Systems in both 2016 and 2017.
He said it was also home to iAccelerate, Australia’s leading accelerator and incubator for start-ups.
“Initiatives like Advantage Wollongong are an important part of realising these ambitions for our region,” he said.