News

2 Aug 2016

NSW Govt selloff: Aust Tech Park to close. EXCLUSIVE

UPDATED AT END: The Sydney events industry has been served a blow after the NSW Government sold off Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh. The ATP Conference Centre, which has been running since 1998, is due to close on 30 June 2017.

The closure of the Conference Centre follows the sale of ATP to a Mirvac-led consortium in April earlier this year. “The sale was part of a strategic move by the NSW Government that will help catalyse innovation in the inner city, with proceeds helping to finance the upgrade of Redfern Station and the development of the new Sydney Metro Station at Waterloo, subject to government approval”, ATP announced.

Early 2017 the new International Convention Centre (ICC) opens at Darling Harbour, so the NSW Government will say they have expanded and improved Sydney’s event capacity. But only incrementally, and with ATP closing Sydney actually loses an important venue.

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So what is the issue?

ATP is one of a dwindling number of ‘big box’ venues that can accommodate a trade show or a large function. If you take the previous, demolished Darling Harbour facility, along with ATP and then swap them for ICC you get about the same floor space. So Sydney has actually lost an alternative site, and event organisers are forced to deal with one deal and one offer instead of two. Furthermore, there are few venues that do not have ‘in-house production partners’, which means bringing outside production in is almost impossible. ATP was open for all.

Visitors to ENTECH next year can say goodbye to a fabulous venue, and Mirvac shareholders can look forward to another profit season when the historical railway sheds are repurposed with something ‘modern’.

Juliusmedia can’t believe this hasn’t generated any media discussion, let alone upset the events industry.

STATEMENT FROM URBANGROWTH NSW:

Over the past 20 years, the NSW Government has overseen the development of Australian Technology Park, taking it from dilapidated railways buildings to a growing technology hub. The sale to the Mirvac-led consortium opens the door for private investment to support fintech, biotech and digital jobs and will help these uses to develop further in the Redfern area.

In relation to heritage and public access, the NSW Government secured ongoing public, heritage and access covenants as part of the sale. In accordance with the Government’s requirements, Mirvac and its partners will maintain and manage the site’s heritage buildings, and ensure continued and safe public access through the site to important destinations such as Redfern Station. Mirvac has already submitted plans for new buildings on vacant sites that demonstrate this and which, subject to approval, will revitalise the existing technology precinct.

Proceeds from the sale of ATP will be reinvested in the local area, helping finance major infrastructure investments for the benefit of the community in the Central to Eveleigh corridor.

Further information on the sale is available here http://www.urbangrowth.nsw.gov.au/newsroom/new-era-begins-at-australian-technology-park/

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