Qld hacklab seeks Linux Australia funding

Summary:A Gold Coast-based hacklab has written to the Linux Australia council seeking funding in the spirit of fostering the local tech community up north.

A Gold Coast-based hacklab has written to the Linux Australia council seeking funding in the spirit of fostering the local tech community up north.

A hacklab is a space where like-minded individuals can come together in an open environment and develop anything from open-source software to new, hacked or modified hardware.

President of the Gold Coast Tech Space, Steve Dalton, said that the small membership base works on projects involving electronics, hardware hacking and 3D printing, with a view to run learning initiatives like community workshops in the future. Dalton added that the Gold Coast Tech Space just finished work on its first RepRap project.

The Gold Coast Tech Space also plays host to the local Linux User Group and regular Barcamp meetings.

The space was born after three partners came on board to pay for the bond, rent, initial equipment and bench tops in exchange for founding partnerships. Dalton added that Griffith University has recently come on board to support the space as a partner and he is currently seeking support from the Gold Coast City Council on the project, albeit with little success.

"I was going to replace this fifth one with the Gold Coast City Council, but with local elections looming it seems that purse strings are tightly drawn," Dalton wrote.

Dalton is now looking to bring Linux Australia on board as a founding partner due to its interest in supporting free and open-source projects around the country. A founding partnership gets a full membership to the Gold Coast Tech Space for three of its representatives, which normally costs $100 per month. Partnership also sees the sponsor's logo and sign appear on the front of the space forever.

"I was thinking [the partnership] could be gifted to local Gold Coasters doing good work in the Linux/FLOSS community," Dalton said in his funding request, adding that the Gold Coast is more than it appears on the surface.

"A lot of people in Australia think of the Gold Coast as all about tourism and property development, and this is partially true, our economy is very narrow at the moment. However, there is also a thriving tech community just desperate to break out. I am hoping the Gold Coast Tech Space will be a hub for this."

Dalton said that the money invested by Linux Australia would go towards more power points for the space, projectors for group meetings and extra monitors for the computers donated by Gold Coast City Council.

Topics: Open Source, Government, Government : AU, Start-Ups

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A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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