blog Well it appears that analyst firm capioIT’s rating of the Victorian region of Ballarat as the best non-metropolitan location in Australia for IT services delivery may be accurate. Or, at least IBM thinks so. In coalition with the Victorian Government, Big Blue last week announced it was expanding its Ballarat operations by some 150 jobs. A nice move for those who want to get out of the big smoke but still want to work in IT. The full media release:
“Ballarat’s economy is set for a big boost, with the Victorian Coalition Government today announcing that IT giant IBM is set to create 150 new technology jobs. Visiting Ballarat today, Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips said the Coalition Government had worked with University of Ballarat and IBM to secure the company’s expansion at the Ballarat Technology Park.
“The creation of up to 150 new, highly skilled technology jobs is a major coup for Ballarat,” Mr Rich-Phillips said. “This is a strategically important investment for the Ballarat region. IBM’s expansion will develop the region’s technology capabilities, create highly skilled jobs and further diversify Ballarat’s economic base. It will also lead to significant flow-on activity in the local economy. A recent economic impact study found that every job created in the Ballarat Technology Park creates another job in the region.”
The new investment will lead to the establishment of an IBM Asia Pacific Centre of Excellence for Software Testing in Ballarat. The centre will create new jobs in software application development, application support, application management, consulting services and high level technical specialists which will be housed at the IBM Delivery Centre.
Minister for Regional Cities Denis Napthine, who also attended today’s announcement, said the Coalition Government’s support for the IBM technology centre was part of its overall plan for jobs and growth in Ballarat. “This announcement follows our commitment to create jobs and drive growth through the Ballarat West Employment Zone, the Ballarat West Link Road and Ballarat West growth area,” Dr Napthine said. “The Coalition Government will continue to work with the Ballarat community and local industry to generate positive outcomes in the region.”
IBM Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Andrew Stevens said the investment would further cement Ballarat’s reputation as the premium location in Australia for the domestic delivery of ICT and business process services.
“IBM began its journey in Ballarat 15 years ago. Today we are very pleased to continue building our world-class Services Delivery Centre here in Ballarat, with the support of the Victorian Government and the University of Ballarat,” Mr Stevens said. “An advanced, high-value services economy is key to ensuring Australia’s future prosperity and this Centre of Excellence will be central to our ability to drive further service innovations.”
University of Ballarat Vice-Chancellor Professor David Battersby said the university was delighted by the announcement. “IBM is an extremely important and valuable tenant at our Technology Park. The company has been highly influential in the overall success of the Technology Park and has made a major contribution to the economic and social advancement of this city,” Professor Battersby said. “Our Technology Park now has up to 1,500 employees and we are committed to growing the Park to approximately 2,000 employees over the next three to four years through our expansion plans at Mount Helen, as well as our planned new operations in the Ballarat CBD.”
Mr Rich-Phillips said the Coalition Government was committed to working with major global organisations such as IBM to ensure a strong technology industry in Victoria. “Since we came to office the Coalition Government has helped to facilitate more than 2,000 jobs and more than $700 million in investment within the technology portfolio,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.”
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