Petition update

2,375 signatures and a message from ATP's Founding CEO

Sydney Startups

Nov 6, 2015 — In the past few weeks, the petition has continued to gain prominence and there has been some new developments which I wanted to share.

We recently received support from three significant people in the ATP story. One is from Tom Forgan, the founding CEO of ATP. The second is from Stan Jeffrey, the founding director of ATP Innovations.

I was also contacted by John Glastonbury, one of the founding ATP members & former Dean of Engineering at University of Sydney. He supported the petition and wanted to maintain the technology & innovation focus of the park.


"As the founder of the ATP I gave ten years of my life to create this world class Technology Park and I am at a loss to understand how this world recognised Technology Park can be dismantled when it was the envy of numerous countries around the world.

With the Prime Minister repeatedly speaking about the need for top research as a financial driver for our country, it makes no sense whatsoever to close or water it down. Please feel free to contact me as I have a vast amount of information relating to this project. Tom Forgan"


"I was the founding director of the ATP incubator and technology program

The ATP has proved itself as a world class centre with many prizes and awards to it and its companies. Also many groups include many delegations from china in there inaugural phase of world wide technology parks program gaining insight and ideas about the structure.

The ATP has been a success and used derelict and polluted land to the benefit of Sydney and Australia.

The proposal to sell this asset and the difficulty with the covenants and land remediation set by the government has resulted in the current technology park model not being financially viable

I did look at the possibility of a consortium that I would be part of purchasing the ATP however the restrictions and incumbencies made the proposal unpalatable.

One way forward would be for the Government to look at what would be the best way to package and sell the asset and make it useful as a technology asset and not a real estate development.

I clearly can see now the Silicon Harbour development has been announced that the government has a broader idea. This I would expect to take many years and the ATP initiative would be lost.

In a city the size of Sydney with three universities near by the Silicon harbour and the ATP Maybe they could become part of the innovation corridor from Ryde to the airport. This would use the asset and benefits already developed and paid for by the people of NSW.

If you would like I am prepared to assist in this planning and development".

- Stan Jeffrey, founding director of ATP Incubator


I met with representatives of ATP who wanted to inform me about the sale process and to give me a tour of the property. I met with them to hear their point of view. They would like to add additional buildings. They have asked the government for funding and were not able to secure funding for the development. The land has to be sold off as one parcel. From next year, ATP also needs to start paying rent. I have been informed that a sale is required for the necessary funds to develop the land.


Yesterday, I attended a roundtable discussion on The City Of Sydney Tech Startup Action Plan organised by the Labor party. In attendance were the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Ed Husic, Councillor Linda Scott & Director of Local Government NSW.

I brought up the issue of density of startups and the need to keep ATP as a technology focus. They acknowledged the importance of ATP as a technology hub and have had discussions with Liberal party about this.

I also wrote a blog post about the roundtable summarising what was discussed and my personal views on "Sydney Startup Ecosystem Needs Money And Knowledge To Thrive".

Lets see if the roundtable discussions leads to anything.


There was in the article in the AFR yesterday about ATP. You can view it here:

Thanks to Sharon Lu, GM at Tyro FinTechHub for spotting it.


I visited ATP a few weeks ago. I was in the ATP Innovations building for a meeting. I happened to bump into a startup investor, Rayn Ong that I knew who was there for a board meeting for a startup he had invested in. Later on, another startup founder, Brent Clark from WattBlock who I recognised walked down the stairs. Brent gave me a tour of the building. On the tour, I met 7 startup founders and their employees from the Muru-d and StartMate accelerator programs. I also visited ATP incubator and saw the great work being done there by innovative companies.

I left the building to meet with ATP reps. I decided to come back one last time to walk through the building. I wanted to see if I could serendipitously bump into another person. At the couch downstairs, I met Vicky Lay, a startup founder that had recently become a Venture Capitalist at Artesian.

I met at least 10 people I had not planned to meet in my short visit involved in technology & innovation industry. Being there creates opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange.


I took some photos of the ATP complex for those that have not been there recently. I have posted these on my blog here:

Please continue to share the petition on social media and email your friends & contacts that care about the future of technology and innovation in Australia.

Matthew Ho
Sydney Startups

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