Information and communications technology (11.06.2014)

Written on the 11 June 2014

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- My question is to the Minister for Technology, Mr Rich-Phillips, and I ask: can the minister update the house about recent growth in Victoria's ICT sector?


Hon. G. K. RICH-PHILLIPS (Minister for Technology) -- I thank Ms Crozier for her question and for her interest in the Victorian technology sector.

As part of the Napthine coalition government's commitment to building a better Victoria, there is a strong focus on attracting investment and jobs in the technology sectors, be they ICT, be they biotechnology or be they small tech. Over the course of this year we have seen a number of well-recognised ICT companies from the United States announce or establish a presence here in Victoria. This includes companies such as Eventbrite, Tintri and Hightail, all of whom have recognised the strength of the ICT market in Victoria and the relevance of Victoria in relation to investment in ICT for the Asia-Pacific region.

Last week I was delighted to join the Premier and the member for Malvern in the Assembly for the opening of the new Asurion technical support centre in Armadale. This is a commitment by Asurion, which is one of the world's largest providers of support services for mobile devices, be they mobile telephones or tablet devices, to provide support to the users and owners of those devices. The services Asurion offers includes assistance with connections, assistance with problems with those devices and assistance with broken devices.

Asurion has established at Armadale a support centre with around 150 staff initially located at that centre, and that number will grow to 300 over the next five years. Asurion's support staff are very highly skilled. In responding to telephone calls, they can address questions on Bluetooth, questions on every different device, including BlackBerries, iPhone devices and Android devices. They may respond to consumer problems. A highly skilled workforce is required in that facility in Armadale, and it is a very strong testament to the workforce and the business environment we have here in Victoria that Asurion has chosen to locate that facility at Armadale.

The reality is that this facility provides support across Australia and into the Asia-Pacific region. This facility did not need to be located in Melbourne. It could have been established in Singapore, it could have been established in Hong Kong or it could have been established elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, Asurion recognised the strength of the ICT workforce in Victoria, it recognised the strength of the economy in our state and it recognised the good business environment we have in Victoria.

I was delighted to join the Premier for the opening of the Asurion centre last week. I look forward to that centre growing to 300 jobs over the next five years. It is a strong vote of confidence in the Victorian economy and the Victorian workforce that that centre has been established in Melbourne.

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