Convict prison, naval dockyard ... now ICT hub?

Cockatoo Island has variously been a convict prison, reformatory, "industrial school" for wayward girls, shipbuilding centre and music festival venue. Now, if the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust has its way, the island -- the largest in Sydney Harbour -- will be reinvented as a "centre of innovation" for the information and communications technology industry.

Cockatoo Island has variously been a convict prison, reformatory, "industrial school" for wayward girls, shipbuilding centre and music festival venue. Now, if the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust has its way, the island -- the largest in Sydney Harbour -- will be reinvented as a "centre of innovation" for the information and communications technology industry.

In a statement issued this morning, the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust said it was seeking expressions of interest in leasing buildings and facilities on the island "and input from the industry on how the island can be developed to meet the current and future needs of the Australian ICT sector".

Geoff Bailey, executive director of the trust, said it was "particularly keen" to engage with the ICT industry to ensure the technology infrastructure of the island was planned to meet current and future needs.

"In terms of IT and communications infrastructure, it's a green-field site.

"We are encouraging adaptive re-use of existing buildings and facilities.

"That means ensuring that we have a technology infrastructure in place that will meet the evolving needs of leading companies and organisations in technology-based sectors such as IT services and consulting, communications, multimedia, design, animation and post-production services for film and television".

Bailey said service providers such as ferry operators were being asked to submit proposals to provide connections to the 17.9 hectare island, which has remained under-utilised since naval activities were shifted from it in the early 1990s.

He said the trust had also identified potential land bases for barge services to provide delivery, storage and loading for clients residing on the island.

The deadline for proposals is 5pm Friday 18 November (AEST).