On 27 August the Premier was at the Ballarat Technology Park to announce that
IBM will be opening a $10.8 million IT services centre there. This expansion is
expected to create 300 jobs and contribute an additional $61 million to the
region’s economy. This is a wonderful result for Ballarat and a wonderful result
for Victoria, which has seen over 446 000 jobs created since the Labor
Government came to power in 1999.
The Brumby Labor government has committed $5 million from the
Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to support the construction of
the 3500-square-metre facility. This huge boost for Ballarat is proof that
national and international businesses have great confidence in investing in
rural and regional Victoria.
The legislation creating the Regional Infrastructure
Development Fund was in fact the first piece of legislation enacted by this
Parliament when Labor came to power in 1999. To date the fund has announced the
contribution of $421.3 million towards 201 major RIDF projects, with a total
project value of up to $1.26 billion.
I would like to congratulate IBM on this announcement and also
the University of Ballarat for its ongoing partnership with IBM and its
commitment to the Ballarat community.