A fight to save Sydney’s technology hub, the Australian Technology Park, led by Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, from developers has gained additional momentum with more than 1000 people signing an online petition calling on NSW planning minister Robert Stokes to intervene in the government’s sale of the 14-hectare site on the outskirts on the CBD.
Atlassian, partnering with Walker Corporation, is in a two horse race to take control of the site in Redfern against Mirvac/Commonwealth Bank bid which will include apartments and the bank as anchor tenant.
Cannon-Brookes, has pledged to relocate his global tech company to the ATP if successful, and has been enlisting support from other tech startups who’ve also pledged to move in to create a collaborative innovation hub akin to Roosevelt Island in New York, or Shoreditch in London. The entrepreneur says it would be a “huge shame” and lost opportunity for the city’s burgeoning tech industry if it was sold for another use.
Matthew Ho, product development head at Sydney software business Tapmint has now joined the chorus of support, creating a Change.org petition via the 3000-strong Sydney Startups Facebook group over the weekend.
“If you care about the future of Australian tech, sign this petition and leave a comment,” he said, adding that he wanted to generate more support from Australian startup community to the Atlassian bid.”
The petition says the ATP is currently home to 100 technology firms currently generating 5,500 jobs. They fear it may be closed.
A PwC study commissioned by Atlassian found that the site could generate $390 million in value over 10 years as a tech hub.
“What we’re saying to government is that a physical place is one plank in a broader set of initiatives they need to put together if they’re really committed to changing this stuff,” Cannon-Brookes says in support of the petition.
The petition is here.