Despite grandiose plans for Sydney's Bays Precinct to become Australia’s Silicon Valley, the State Government is tight-lipped on its future.
Following Google’s stepdown from negotiations to establish the White Bay Power Station as its next Australian headquarters, the government developer UrbanGrowth has been focussed on developing other areas of the precinct.
A spokesperson for UrbanGrowth said the NSW Government’s vision is for power station to become Australia’s leading, world class technology hub but, at this stage, there is no word on how this will be achieved.
In 2015, former NSW premier Mike Baird announced the power station at Rozelle would to be turned into an international technology hub, a centrepiece of the rejuvenation of the Bays Precinct area.
The government was negotiating with Google to move its Australian headquarters to White Bay, one of 13 companies that submitted proposals for the project.
But in June 2016, UrbanGrowth rejected all 13 proposals and announced it would redevelop the site itself. Earlier this year, the tech giant walked away.
Two years after the Silicon Valley makeover was announced, plans for the site are in limbo, awaiting the draft strategic framework to be released later this year.
Despite the a lack of progress on the power station, plans for the Bays Market Precinct are going ahead. Proposed plans for the Fish Market district were given the green light in May this year when Danish architectural firm 3XN were chosen to design the redevelopment of Blackwattle Bay.
The conversation is open to the public through a survey on current draft principles to help develop a ‘masterplan’.
The plan aims to rejuvenate the precinct through the integration of a Bays’ Waterfront Promenade, improvements to the retail and wholesale functions of the Fish Market, residential development and improved access to public transport.
However, specific plans for the White Bay power station do not appear to be on the agenda for this masterplan.
The biggest roadblock for the development of the White Bay power station appears to be in the lack of access to public transport. The development plans for Sydney Metro West by Transport NSW announced that the Bays Precinct would be one area that would be designated a station.
Whether this will impact White Bay specifically will not be known until Transport NSW receives feedback on the Sydney Metro West.
In the meantime, a spokesperson said UrbanGrowth was working with a range of government departments and agencies to find solutions for infrastructure needs and land and water uses.