Welcome to Thursday, with some big news out of Sydney:
1. The biggest startup hub in the southern hemisphere is coming to Sydney. The NSW government today revealed it had invested $35 million to secure an 11-floor site on York St to open Sydney Startup Hub in November. Big name co-working providers Stone & Chalk, Fishburners, Tank Stream Labs and The Studio have already signed on to be anchor tenants at the 17,000 square metre hub, which aims to bring together the startup community to one premium downtown location. Read more on the massive coup for local entrepreneurs.
2. Freelancer’s user population is now bigger than Australia. Its founder and chief Matt Barrie said that the labour marketplace was designed to be a “virtual country” – with an economy, a “GDP”, employers, workers and a dispute resolution system. Read more on why Barrie is so upbeat despite the share price sliding from $1.50 last October to now 76 cents.
3. Australia may have its own NASA. The federal government today announced a review into the country’s space capabilities, and forming a space agency could be one of the outcomes. The idea has been recently lobbied by local space tech startups, and astronaut Andy Thomas is urging it to be built in his home state of South Australia. Read more.
4. The Australian Taxation Office will not guarantee its systems will not fall over again. The organisation sent out a memo Wednesday to say it would minimise the risk of outages but anticipates further disruption while it improves its IT systems. Read more here.
5. A 2014 data breach at the department of immigration has cost it almost $1 million so far, and that total will keep rising. iTnews reports the incident, which saw the private data of more than 9000 asylum seekers leaked online, has cost the department $955,330 in legal fees and it hasn’t even settled everything yet.