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Google Scraps Plan For New Sydney HQ

Google has ended negotiations with the NSW government to move its headquarters to a new tech hub in Sydney’s inner west.

Plans to redevelop the 95-hectare White Bay Power Station site in Rozelle into a tech hub called The Bays Precinct were announced by state government developer UrbanGrowth NSW in 2015. At the time the project was dubbed by former Premier Mike Baird as a future “silicon harbour”.

Google had initially shown interest in moving to The Bays Precinct from its existing HQ at Pyrmont. However, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, a lack of upgrades to public transport in the area drove Google to pull out of negotiations.

“Ultimately, the complexity of the project and the timing of associated transport infrastructure could not meet Google’s requirements at this time,” the NSW government said.

Google said it would continue to seek a long-term HQ in Sydney, and that it was “grateful to the NSW government and UrbanGrowth NSW for their efforts to deliver on their impressive vision for White Bay Power Station”.

Criticism about the lack of transport to The Bays Precinct has been ongoing since the project was announced, with UrbanGrowth NSW’s own chief executive stating that the site had “nowhere near the transport infrastructure that needs to be there” in an interview with the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley supported the project when it was announced, but stressed that “the key to getting the Bays precinct right will be connectivity, accessibility and mobility” according to ABC News.

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