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Google is making its biggest investment ever in Australia

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Google’s existing CEO Sundar Pichai has revealed that a total of One billion Australian dollars (approximately $736 million) will be invested by Google over the next five years. The billion-dollar investment will be used in part to establish the company’s first research center in Australia, as well as to support the growth of the cloud computing industry in Australia.

There are intentions to collaborate with the Australian government on scientific research, which includes projects involving clean energy and the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef. Additionally, the company will collaborate with a regional institution on quantum computing.

The tech giant has been active in Australia for nearly decades and has established hundreds of employments opportunities from more than 2000 inhabitants. It’s been said that the investment is projected to build new employments and spur innovations.

This is “a $1 billion statement of confidence in Australia’s economic plan,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Tuesday. Before Morrison’s election, the Australian government had stated that it aimed to make Australia “a leading digital economy by 2030” through improving its AI skills, among other things. Morrison highlighted that the plan “doesn’t imply we’re seeking to be the next Silicon Valley” while addressing at a Google facility in Sydney on Tuesday. Morrison also commented that the investment will promote over 6000 job opportunities and contribute around 6.7 billion Australian dollars ($4.9 billion) of worth to Australia’s economy.

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Turning The Page

As a byproduct of Google’s investment in Australia, the company looks to be resetting its tumultuous relationship with the country’s citizens and government. In the past, Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) have publicly argued with regulators about legislation requiring both companies to pay for news material.

In the months leading up to the bill’s introduction, Google aggressively opposed it. This was the case last year when YouTube even put a warning on its homepage about the repercussions of the new law on Australian citizens’ freedom to search. Company officials have been accused of distributing “misinformation” in the past.

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Google threatened to withdraw its search engine from the country if legislation was passed in January.

Google, on the other hand, took a different stance as the bill neared a vote. By establishing collaborations with some of the country’s top news organizations, notably Seven West Media, and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWS), the company aimed to move ahead of the law. Meanwhile, the emphasis shifted to Facebook, which unexpectedly prohibited news articles in Australia due to the proposed rule in February, causing an outcry.

In the end, after Australia made some technical adjustments, Facebook reinstated permission to those pages.

In February, Google’s strategy was applauded by media groups and lawmakers alike.

“The fact that Google has opted to spend in the way that they have… solidifies [our] collaboration,” Morrison said on Tuesday. “We have already worked together with the tech sector on so many fronts, and there are so many more that we need to work on,” Morrison continued.


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