The New South Wales government has sold the Australian Technology Park to a consortium led by Commonwealth Bank and Mirvac.
The 14 hectare site will be developed into a business park in Redfern, with Commonwealth Bank consolidating its Sydney offices in a new campus.
This has angered many in the tech community, who were backing the rival bid by Atlassian. Atlassian was intending to turn the site into a technology hub to encourage startup collaboration and make a statement about the industry.
The new space would have been similar to the East London Tech City or the WISTA park in Berlin, both of which host large technology companies and startups. The congregation of large and small companies can bring down the costs of infrastructure, market the city as a place for talent and companies, and create a space for events and the cross pollination of ideas and people.
“Its an enormous missed opportunity,” says Mick Liubinskas the co-founder of Pollenizer.
“The tech companies are global, but tech ecosystems need proximity.
“There was a real opportunity to get 10,000 tech entrepreneurs, coders, designers and ambitious people into one spot to really create something impressive on a world scale, and that opportunity is being missed.”
Several other tech leaders have also taken to twitter to vent frustration about the sale.
Here’s what they are saying.
Words: The gov wants to help startups. Actions: Sell our only chance at a tech precinct to a bank so that they can process back office admin
— Niki Scevak (@nikiscevak) November 12, 2015
https://t.co/uaBN9Q6uyO Government needs to walk the talk with technology and innovation support for entrepreneurs.
— Jo Burston (@Jo_Burston) November 12, 2015
— Graham Lea (@evolvable) November 12, 2015
— James Dellow (@chieftech) November 12, 2015
No surprises… https://t.co/SQBpl7pjf8
— Giorgio Doueihi (@giorgiodoueihi) November 12, 2015