NAVIGATION technology company Sealite is the major player behind plans for a $540 million technology park at Somerville.
The company says the proposed Mornington Peninsula Technology Park will activate projects and deliver jobs and growth as part of an “urgent pandemic recovery”.
Backing for the plan is being sought from Mornington Peninsula Shire and the state government as part of the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce.
The shire claims the peninsula has “been hit harder than most areas of Victoria in terms of job losses and general economic downturn” (“Shire seeks $320m rescue package” The News 22/6/20).
However, the shire has already earmarked land for a similar technology park on the outskirts of Hastings.
Backers of the Somerville plan consider the shire’s proposal “to still be embryonic and not able to deliver results for some time” while their’s can be providing jobs within 12 months.
Sealite, already based at Somerville, is set to be the Mornington Peninsula Technology Park’s anchor tenant.
The company is a global leader in designing and manufacturing marine and aviation aids to navigation. It has plants and offices in Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as distributors servicing over 100 countries.
CEO Chris Procter said the Somerville proposal had “extensive benefits for the local economy and the local community”.
“The Mornington Peninsula Technology Park will deliver hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of economic growth, and we are ready to get started now,” he said.
“There are some 700 direct and indirect jobs during construction, and around 1500 STEM-related jobs once the precinct is fully populated. This project represents $1.2 billion in economic value for the region and the Victorian economy. This is exactly the kind of project we believe the state government and the council would want to help us recover from the pandemic.”
The proposed 50-hectare technology park on Bungower Road is on land designated for port related purposes.
The masterplan shows low rise buildings; 50 per cent open space; 25 hectares with 250,000 square metres of floor space targeting high-tech businesses; and a redeveloped heritage precinct and active recreation facilities.
Mr Procter said Sealite had “a pipeline” of prospective work worth more than $260 million.
“We’re seeing particular growth in defence spending on the upgrade of port infrastructure and military airfields,” he said.