Netscape deal boost for Victorian 'Silicon Valley' push

Victoria's push to be Australia's multimedia "Silicon Valley" has received a boost via Netscape's decision to establish its Australian head office and mirrored site in Melbourne.

The biggest plus for the Victorian and Australian IT industries to come out of the multimillion dollar investment will be the opportunity for developers to work closely with the Internet king-pin. To that end, Netscape has also announced it will hold its regional developers conference in Melbourne. Premier Jeff Kennett and Treasurer and Multimedia Minister Alan Stockdale have been working on the deal with key Netscape officials for some time, according to the company. Quentin Gallivan, Netscape vice-president, Asia/Pacific sales, said Netscape has received "modest financial support" from the Victorian Government.

While Netscape officials, including Jim Barksdale, president and CEO of the company, acclaimed the announcement as an endorsement for Victoria, under questioning from Sydney journalists they became worried that they were leaving the rest of the country out in the cold. "Please Sydney, don't feel this is against you. This is a key investment in Australia, it's a very important market for us." by Philip Sim