NSW to build defence industry tech hub

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NSW to build defence industry tech hub

Seeks expressions of interest.

The NSW Government is seeking tenants and developers for a 3.9-hectare Defence Industry Technology Hub to be built in the northern Sydney suburb of Macquarie Park.

Valued at $50 million in 2008, the Government-owned land will be developed to house systems integrations, communications, electronics, avionics and other technology projects.

It is located at 43-61 Waterloo Road, near premises currently occupied by several technology firms including BAE Systems, CSIRO, CSC, Optus, Siemens, Sony, Oracle, Microsoft, and Nortel Networks.

Funding for the Defence Industry Technology Hub is part of a total $75 million that was committed to the NSW Defence Industry Strategy in last month's State Budget.

The remaining $25 million will be spent on a 'Major Investment Attraction Scheme' designed to help NSW companies secure new defence projects and build capability.

The strategy aims to create 1,500 new jobs in defence-related industries within four years, and secure 30 percent of Australia's billion-dollar annual defence spending within the decade.

When launching the strategy on 3 June, NSW Premier Kristina Keneally said: "NSW is the smart economy of Australia and defence jobs are part of our future development."

"It will secure high-technology jobs in the State, bring new investment into NSW and help develop a strong future for our local defence industry."

As an established technology precinct, the Macquarie Park site is equipped with water, sewerage, power, telecommunications, waste disposal and recyclables management, although developers would be responsible for connecting these services at their own cost.

Unlike the Australian Technology Park that has housed various science and technology organisations since November 1996, the new hub would be open to niche, defence technology companies only.

NSW's Land and Property Management Authority (LPMA) is offering leasing terms of up to 50 years to tenants who meet its criteria in their submissions.

It will accept expressions of interest until 30 July, after which only shortlisted respondents will be requested to submit detailed proposals.

No timeframe has been announced for the final detailed negotiations stage and launch of the hub; however, according to tender documents, the "Government is keen to see this site fulfill its targeted use at the earliest opportunity."

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