Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan today unveiled the blueprint for Australia’s biggest technology precinct and the only one dedicated to information and communications technology (ICT).
Mr Logan said the Bentley Technology Precinct would establish Western Australia as a dynamic technology-driven destination and secure its international standing as an innovation leader.
The Minister said the precinct would create a culture of innovation, with cutting-edge architecture and eco-friendly services.
“It will be Australia’s Silicon Valley - but with soul,” he said.
“The Bentley Technology Precinct will become a destination where business meets research and research has access to business; where knowledge is shared among companies and partnerships are established.
“The precinct will become a lifestyle, integrating people, business, technology and education within an energetic and vibrant environment.
“Cafes, bars and restaurants will become boardrooms and central, shared facilities will provide mentoring and support for companies at all stages of commercialisation. Sustainable transport options will be explored and pathways expanded for a pedestrian friendly location.
“The precinct will be an environment where established businesses can grow and new businesses have opportunities and support to develop, further strengthening the future growth of the State’s economy.”
The existing 42ha Bentley Technology Park was already one of the biggest in Australia, but will increase seven-fold to create the 314ha technology precinct.
The precinct will be home to telecommunications, information services and computer gaming companies, as well as companies that service this sector including specialised lawyers, patent specialists and financial houses.
Mr Logan said the State Government had committed $8.55million for the initial infrastructure requirements for the long-term project.
He said the precinct would feature one of the fastest transmission networks in Australia, allowing business to interact with others, faster and cheaper.
A $2.2million investment would see the construction of a high-speed fibre network within the existing park that would be linked to the CBD and provide initial connection speeds of one gigabit per second.
It would eventually be expanded to incorporate the whole precinct, with upgrades in connection speeds up to 10 gigabits per second.
Architecture would be complemented with innovative images, as buildings used revolutionary technologies to broadcast messages to people on the streets.
The draft structure plan for the precinct was developed in consultation with the neighbouring Curtin University of Technology, City of South Perth, Town of Victoria Park, Government departments, industry, academia, researchers and the community.
Curtin University of Technology Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jeanette Hacket, said the precinct provided a tremendous opportunity for students and graduates to work hand-in-hand with the ICT sector, providing an environment to seamlessly exchange information and employment possibilities.
“On an international level, universities that have collaborated with technology precincts in the past have been highly successful in delivering strong technological outcomes,” Professor Hacket said.
“The Bentley Technology Precinct will support the culture in which both people and industry work collaboratively, delivering outstanding outcomes for all involved.”
Victoria Park MLA Ben Wyatt said WA, and Bentley in particular, would become known as a destination of ICT-related activities and companies involved in emerging technologies.
“The Bentley Technology Precinct will become the heart of the State’s ICT industry and Australia’s biggest dedicated ICT destination,” Mr Wyatt said.
“It is an exciting time for the area and I congratulate the departments and local authorities that have worked so hard and so quickly to bring this plan to fruition.”
Mr Logan said numerous ICT companies from around the world were looking to move into the precinct.
The US-based company Interzone, which develops online entertainment products, has already established its game development studio within the precinct.
The community and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback on the Bentley Technology Precinct Draft Structure Plan.
A blog site has been created to promote discussion and participation. Comments can be made at http://www.communityofminds.com.au
Minister's office - 9222 8950