Taming Sydney's wild west a priority

In a joint initiative, the NSW Government and a host of technology groups are holding a conference promoting Western Sydney as the potential boom region for IT in the new millennium, the NSW Minister for Information Technology, Kim Yeadon, announced last week.

The Advancing Information Technology in Western Sydney industry conference will be held at the Park Royal in Parramatta on November 26.

The NSW Government is attempting to encourage Western Sydney businesses to invest in information technology which `will help business gain a competitive advantage in the global economy', the minister said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the minister said the intention of the government is to explore the capabilities, potential and challenges for manufacturing businesses in the area.

There is quite a shift to Western Sydney and IT is featuring strongly, the spokesperson said.

The National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) found Western Sydney's gross turnover across all sectors for 1999 was $52 billion and the expected turnover for 2005 is $60 billion.

The region's spending on IT was not identified but NIEIR did find that with a growth rate of 38 per cent, IT&T was the fastest growing industry in Sydney's West.

The NIEIR figures indicate a lucrative market for resellers with some integrators already focusing exclusively on the 60,000 Western Sydney businesses.

Tardis Services boss John Anderson said that his integration company specifically caters to small-to-medium commercial clients based in the western suburbs. Anderson said it is the fastest growing area in Australia for small-to-medium manufacturing businesses.

In other news, there is talk of the NSW Government setting up a high-tech park in Greystanes (near Parramatta, which is the geographical centre of Sydney).

Information from the minister's office did not clarify any details about plans for a technology park but a fact sheet issued did indicate that major technology companies have already started to set up offices in Sydney's burgeoning western suburbs.