Inside Google’s new Melbourne office

Google’s new Melbourne campus. Picture: Supplied.

Multinational tech giant Google on Thursday cut the ribbon in its new Melbourne office, but declared its Australian headquarters will remain in Sydney.

Acting premier James Merlino joined innovation minister Philip Dalidakis to open the Collins Street space, which will initially cater for up to 100 sales and engineering staff with room for expansion.

“At the moment we have a combination of sales and engineering (in Melbourne), but Sydney remains our engineering hub,” Google Melbourne site lead Sean McDonell said, adding Google wouldn’t consider Melbourne for its new headquarters despite the company still struggling to find a new local base.

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“We’ve made it pretty clear in Sydney that it will remain where HQ stays.”

Google Melbourne

The Victorian government has been impressed by how Google has embraced Melbourne. Picture: Supplied.

The New South Wales government in April slapped down a proposal that would have involved Google anchoring a Silicon Valley-style Sydney tech hub, the second time in a year Google’s plans had been rebuffed.

The Victorian acting premier says there are no direct incentives to entice Google to open an office in Melbourne, and says the company is the latest addition to a long list of major global tech companies investing in Melbourne including Alibaba, Amazon, JD.com, LiveTiles, Mimecast, Slack, Zendesk and Square.

“I am so impressed how Google has embraced Melbourne,” acting premier James Merlino said at the launch. “You go through this new office, doubling of Google’s workforce here in Melbourne and the way the company has embraced all that is Melbourne here is very impressive. This announcement is a great shot in the arm, a boost to our tech sector.

Google Melbourne

Google’s Australian HQ will remain in Sydney. Picture: Supplied.

“It proves once again Melbourne is the tech centre of our nation. More than half of our top 20 tech companies are based in Melbourne, and we deliver more tech graduates than anywhere else in the country.”

“I often say when Melbourne and Victoria win so does Australia, and you can see no better proof of that than what Google is doing right now,” minister for innovation and the digital economy Philip Dalidakis said.

“They recognise to grow across the Asia Pacific region there is nowhere they would rather be than right here in Melbourne. And Google being here is an opportunity for themselves to attract the best tech talent across Australia.”

Google’s plan for a new office in the recently refurbished T&G Building, owned by US property investor Pembroke which is part of funds giant Fidelity, was first revealed by The Australian last year.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.