Far South Coast Tech Park? Piped Dream or Reality

An IntoIT report featuring David Jesson, candidate for Bega Council (2012), speaking to Liam O’Duibhir

David Jesson, who is running in this year’s Bega Valley Shire Council elections has in a recent part of his career (almost 3 ½ years as the Administrator of the Shellharbour City Council) continued initiatives by that Council to transition the area from its coal and steel industry dependence to alternatives which could sustain existing employment levels. In large part this was tackled by a major infrastructure project which resulted in the development of a new 3000 lot residential suburb (“Shell Cove”). The marina and boat harbour which forms part of the residential development has been a “hit” with all sorts of facilities expected in a first rate development. But recently a series of events were set in motion in the Shellharbour Council to create a technology park which would feature all of the best attributes of a multi-sector, technology-fuelled industry cluster.

David in a recent public comment proposed that Bega Valley Shire Council should undertake a similar initiative. “Councils around the state are seeking low footprint green jobs, and our Shire should be no different. We have all the right ingredients to set up a technology park in this region, and I know this from my time at ShellHarbour and Bega Valley Councils” said David.

David was particularly impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the University of Wollongong in supporting the Shellharbour programme, and suggested that, the University might once again support a similar project in this region.It is also conceivable that Canberra-based Universities may show interest, as increasing links between educational institutions in the capital and this region are actively sought by some within the community.

In David’s view, council staff can do most of the heavy lifting in promoting the Tech Park project. “We are blessed with plenty of suitably zoned sites, with enough basic infrastructure in place to have a functioning hub of tech-based businesses within 18 months. Beyond that, it is ostensibly a marketing job, to promote the facility. That is probably where the really hard work lies.” according to David.
[pullquote align=”right”] “This just makes sense in terms of economic development initiatives”[/pullquote]

When asked to comment on the role played by Cloud Computing and the NBN in levelling the playing field such that regional areas can realistically develop businesses at the heart of the so-called Digital Economy, Jesson was clear “With this new council, it is the perfect time to introduce some new thinking about how we develop and expand our existing mainstay industries by the introduction and growth of new sector jobs with a strong basis in technology”.

1 reply
  1. Libby Hepburn
    Libby Hepburn says:

    It’s great to see David enthusiastic about the IT cluster development possibilities for this place. A few of us have been encouraging Council should move in this direction for a long time with no noticeable response. We look forward to serious discussions as to how we can work together to achieve this once David is elected. BVSC needs forward thinking Councillors who can see that with a little strategic influence, our place can have an exciting and low impact future, offering much greater local career opportunities to younger generations.

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