The state government is in discussions with US-based technology giant Google to bring its Australian headquarters to Western Australia.
Google was left searching for a new location after the New South Wales government knocked back plans to build a 19,000-job technology hub in Sydney’s Redfern in April.
The US-based tech giant was to be the anchor tenant in the project at the inner-city suburb’s historic rail yards, but the development was rejected for failing a “uniqueness test”.
WA’s Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly confirmed an approach had been made to Google.
“As soon as we became aware that the deal in NSW had fallen through we initiated discussions with Google,” he said.
“We’re pitching to them the benefits of Perth, so that if they do decide to move they understand our door is open and what Perth has to offer.”
Since its Sydney relocation plans fell through, Google had been approached by the Sunshine Coast council to shift its headquarters to Queensland, and it is understood the governments of South Australia and Victoria have also made bids.
Liberal MP Zak Kirkup had made a public appeal to Google to bring its massive Australian headquarters to Mandurah.
Mr Kirkup wrote to Google’s Australian managing director Jason Pellegrino in April, calling on him to “look west” in his search for a new headquarters.
“There’s a lot of great attributes here in the city, and usable land,” he said.
“We’re at the end of the train line, we’re obviously in a beautiful environment and we’re in the GMT+8 time zone, which gives us access to more than 25 per cent of the world’s population.”
In 2017, Google abandoned plans to develop the White Bay power station north of Sydney.
Mr Kirkup said it was possible to build a Silicon Valley-style technology industry south of Perth.
“The Valley in the US largely began with small commercial start-ups in a small commercial area and it was because they had broad-acre land available, and the price was cheap enough to set up a headquarters and offices and associated residential,” he said.
“Now it’s a thriving area, with some of the most expensive property prices in California.
“We could do the same thing here in Mandurah, start a real tech hub and the first player we should be trying to secure is Google.”
A Google spokesman declined to comment.