During the next five years, Google will invest A$1 billion ($740 million, £550 million) in Australia, according to the company’s announcement. It has the largest investment made by the US technology giant in the country up to this point. Google said the funds will be used to construct a research facility, expand its cloud computing capacity. And fund collaborations with local organizations, among other things.
The Digital Future Initiative, as the initiative has known, has intended to directly create 6,000 employment. And indirectly support an additional 28,000 jobs. During the initiative’s debut in Sydney, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that “Australia has the potential to help lead the world’s next wave of innovation, using technology to improve lives, create jobs, and accelerate progress.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was also in attendance, expressed his support for the initiative. He said, “The decision by Google has significant benefits for Australian businesses as we engage with the economic recovery that lies ahead of us.”
In exchange for the investment, the company will collaborate with local groups. Local groups like the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), which is Australia’s science agency (CSIRO). Google’s statement has hailed as a “major triumph” for Australian technology. According to Joshua Kennedy-White of cyber investment firm DivisionX Global: To turn an idea into a product, you need money, and getting that money is the most challenging part of the process. Google could support 4,000 new technology firms in Australia. If it distributed $250k cheques to bright start-ups, according to the CEO of the search engine giant.
‘Silicon Valley of the Southern Hemisphere’
The announcement is yet another big step forward in Sydney’s bid to become known as the “Silicon Valley of the Southern Hemisphere”. It has planned to begin construction on Tech Central, a multi-billion-dollar hub in central Sydney, next year. And to last until 2026 according to the Australian government.
Large technology corporations, on the other hand, have under fire in Australia in recent months for failing to compensate local news publishers for content that has distributed on their platforms. They have also accused of assisting in the dissemination of false information.
While testifying before the Australian parliament in January, Google Australia’s Managing Director Mel Silva threatened to disable its search engine in Australia. If the company did not pay for the content that has uploaded on the company’s websites.
The following month, Australia became the first country in the world to enact legislation mandating large internet companies. Such as Google and Facebook, to pay for news material that has displayed on their websites and apps. There have also requests for Google’s search engine to weakened in the country, which has dominated by it.
Recently, the head of Australia’s competition authority urged for Google to implement a “choice screen” on smartphones. Which would allow consumers to select a different search engine.