Plans for a new $540 million tech campus in the Mornington Peninsula have been put to council.
The proposal for the Mornington Peninsula Technology Park, on Bungower Road, near Somerville, is before the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and forms part of an upcoming consultation period, alongside council’s plan to build an industrial precinct at Port of Hastings.
Local navigation tech company Sealite, the anchor tenant for the precinct, is spearheading the proposal and calling on council to green-light the project.
“We’re actually seeking a rezoning from council that would limit the uses of this land for industrial purposes, rather than expand them,” Sealite chief executive Chris Procter said, adding that the high-tech development has the potential to create up to 1,500 jobs on the Mornington Peninsula.
The proposal comes as the council has called on state and federal support for a suite of projects valued at $320.8 million for the region, including infrastructure upgrades and the establishment of a technology park near the Port of Hastings.
Council says it wants the state government to fast-track the rezoning of the land for the technology park as part of the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce.
Sealite has a current permit for the development of its property at 79 Bungower Road, and says several property owners have expressed interest in a joint development project, anchored by Sealite.
Most of the land is owned by Sealite and local vegetable growing company Gazzola Farms.
The latest proposal is for a package of land on Bungower Road, previously designated for use by the Port of Hastings, and includes a 50-hectare site with 25 hectares of green open space, along with low-rise, low-density facilities for tech businesses.
“We’re really pleased that the council is looking at how to help the local economy recover from the pandemic, and we have no objection to the Hastings site being activated—it just won’t be able to happen for a number of years,” Procter says.
“Our project is ready to deliver now [...] we just need the council to give us the green light.”
The Bungower Road site and surrounds are considered surplus to Port requirements and can be considered for alternative industrial development, according to the Port of Hastings Development Strategy 2018.
Council says the Mornington Peninsula has suffered one of the heaviest hits to employment in Victoria due to the coronavirus pandemic, with ABS figures showing close to 6,000 job losses and an 11 per cent drop in employment opportunities.
Following a rise in new cases of Covid-19 recorded in Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula is one of the areas ordered to go back into lockdown for six weeks from Wednesday.