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Moreton Bay hits snag in efforts to become digital hub

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Moreton Bay Regional Council’s hopes of ensuring the region becomes a technology and data powerhouse have hit a snag after it failed to find a suitable company to base a data centre at its Petrie Mill redevelopment site.

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The council is set to terminate an expressions of interest process this week after it could attract only two proposals to establish a date centre at the Mill.

The data centre plans were a key element of the council’s efforts to transform the former Petrie paper mill site into a knowledge and innovation precinct.

But despite several companies stating an interest in locating at The Mill, council officers have recommended that the plans be suspended.

“Based on the responses to the EOI it is recommended that Council should not accept tenders at this stage that would lead to disposal of the subject site for the purposes of a Data Centre development,” a report to the council states.

However, the council remains wedded to the idea that The Mill is an idea location for companies wanting to establish a data centre in greater Brisbane’s north.

“Notwithstanding, the lower than anticipated response to the EOI Campaign the site at Petrie remains well located geographically for integration with surrounding fibre networks, noting there has been a recent shift in this sector seeking more diversity of data centre locations,” the report to council states.

Moreton Bay Mayor Peter Flannery has previously extolled the benefits of having a new undersea communications cable at Maroochydore that will supercharge telecommunications transmission speeds in the region.

The council has high hopes for The Mill site, which has already hosts a local campus of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

In a bid to increase The Mill’s attractiveness to investors, the council will soon approach the State Government to expand Petrie’s suburban boundary into neighbouring Kallangur to reduce potential confusion about the site’s location.

The council bought the 65 hectare site in 2015 as a strategic land asset. It has since become one of the Government’s priority development areas, allowing it to be exempt from normal planning process to encourage development.

 

 

 

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