States battle to be NBN home base

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Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales are in a three-way battle to become the home of the newly announced National Broadband Network Corporation, who will manage the new National Broadband Network that the Rudd Government announced last week.

Securing the network’s base, according to the Australian, would generate thousands of high-skilled, high-paying jobs that would be vital to the states’ economy during the recession – and giving a boost in the tax revenues for the states, which have been dwindling as of late.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has said that Queensland is the best place, allowing it to create more jobs in the state, and has urged Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to choose his home state. “It will also show that the federal Government understands the opportunity for decentralisation that this technology offers.” she said last week.

“Optus is in Sydney, Telstra in Melbourne; why not (have) NBN Corp in Brisbane?”

New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees has said that New South Wales should be the headquarters for the corporation, saying that the state has the necessary talent pool to allow the network to be successfully implemented around the country.

“Let’s be blunt here: 76 per cent of ICT regional headquarters are located in Sydney (and) 46 per cent of specialist ICT businesses are in NSW," he said.

"Sydney has the best chance of attracting international investors.”

Victorian Treasurer John Lenders, however, has said that Victoria should be the place to control the $42 billion network as the state has a skilled workforce, telecommunications capability and available investment capital for the base, citing that main suppliers for the NBN are in Melbourne.

“We are already known as the nation’s telecommunications hub with over a third of Australia’s ICT industry based in Victoria, including many companies set to play a critical role in the rollout of the national broadband network,” he said.

“It makes sense to have the organisation looking after the NBN located near main suppliers, like Pacific Broadband Networks, who are based in Victoria.”

However, states are looking at their federal minsters in Rudd’s Cabinet to see who could help them win the national tender. Both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer are members representing from a Queensland electorate; while, Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard represent a Victorian electorate.

However, Conroy, is yet to decide the fate for the base’s location – saying that the decision is still several weeks away.

In my own view, Victoria should be the best place for the headquarters for the location. I mean, come on, Melbourne is like the main IT hub in Australia; plus, TECHGEEK.com.au is located in Victoria.