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Atlassian to find a home in a new tech precinct dubbed Sydney’s ‘Silicon Valley’

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian talks with tech billionaire and Atlassian co-CEO Scott Farquhar.<em> (Photo: AAP)</em>
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian talks with tech billionaire and Atlassian co-CEO Scott Farquhar. (Photo: AAP)

It looks like tech giant Atlassian will soon be ditching its George Street address to become the anchor tenant of a new tech hub located between Central and Eveleigh.

Atlassian has reached an in-principle agreement to move their headquarters to the new Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct that will run along the train line between Central and Redfern Station.

“I’m thrilled to announce today that not only is the government providing tens of thousands of floor space for start-ups, but also that Atlassian will be the anchor tenant of this precinct,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told media on Tuesday.

“This is a huge boost to our state. We will have a Silicon Valley right in the heart of our city in Sydney, close proximity of transport, attracting locally and around Australia to these high tech jobs.”

The new precinct will also provide opportunity for start-ups who typically wouldn’t be able to afford floor space, she added.

“This precinct alone will create an additional 25,000 jobs, and of course, who knows what new brands as big as Atlassian may emerge as a result.”

With the state election just months away, Berejiklian has been busy announcing new job opportunities lately. Earlier this week, she promised to create 250,000 new jobs over the next four years in western Sydney and regional NSW.

The precinct is surrounded by other tech hubs and major educational institutions, such as the Australian Technology Park – home to Cicada innovations and CSIRO’s Data61 – and is flanked by the University of Sydney in nearby Camperdown and the University of Technology, Sydney based in Ultimo.

<em>(Source: The Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct Panel Report 2018)</em>
(Source: The Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct Panel Report 2018)

The government has a 15-year plan for the tech precinct, according to the Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct Prospectus.

Humble roots

Speaking on Tuesday, Atlassian’s co-CEO Scott Farquhar said there had been no tech precincts or start-up ecosystems when Atlassian first found its feet 20 years ago and added that office space had been chosen “purely because it was cheap”.

“It wasn’t until a few years later we went to Silicon Valley and we saw the benefits from having an epicentre, from having a technology ecosystem.

“We saw that start-ups were sitting next to the biggest technology companies in the planet, and it’s that combination of start-ups and the right technology companies that produces jobs and prosperity that is known for in Silicon Valley.”

Farquhar also spoke about his personal journey in unveiling the tech precinct.

“It’s a long way from being a boy in Blacktown to running Australia’s largest technology company.”

Cultivating tech entrepreneurs of the future could not be left to “chance or serendipity”, he said.

“We need a much clearer path. My hope is this technology precinct is the place where children and students of tomorrow can come and visit and see jobs in technology and the careers they can have in the technology industry.

“I’m proud that Mike [Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian co-CEO] and I get to move our Atlassian headquarters into the technology precinct so that we can be part of the future of technology here in Australia.”

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