A towering technology hub in central Sydney, set to become the largest in Australia, has attracted almost $50 million of NSW taxpayer backing.
Aussie-founded tech giant Atlassian are helping build the new precinct and will become a permanent tenant, basing its headquarters in the new building above YHA Central Railway Square.
The NSW government on Thursday announced its $48.2 million commitment to the development, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian proclaiming ‘Tech Central’ would become Australia’s leading centre for start-ups and innovative new businesses.
“The best and brightest from around the world will be living and studying here in what will be a huge space … the Silicon Valley of Australia,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
Construction on what is described as the “world’s tallest hybrid timber building” is set to begin in June 2021 and finish by 2025.
New York and Australian designers are working on the building, which will stand about 40 storeys high.
The carbon footprint of constructing the building will be 50 per cent lower than regular buildings, and when complete, will run only on renewable energy.
Early sketches of the tower show large planted terraces and natural ventilation.
The broader plan includes 250,000 sqm of office space in separate buildings, stretching from Central Station to nearby Camperdown.
About 20 per cent of this will be affordable space promised for start-ups, which Ms Berejiklian says will be given rental support.
Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar said technology could help reboot the economy following COVID-19.
“It’s even more important that Atlassian is investing now to develop jobs and to develop this part of Sydney,” he said.
“We believe technology can turbocharge the recovery of our economy and I’m proud to be a part of that.”
Mr Farquhar said Sydney’s relatively clean record could see it poach talent from abroad.
“There may be an opportunity for people with the appropriate quarantining to be attracted to come work in Australia.”