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Nortel's new investment in Australia.

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Nortel's new investment in Australia The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, today welcomed Nortel Networks decision to invest a further $100 million in a new photonics facility will create 640 new jobs.

Nortel Networks has today announced a doubling of its global Optical Internet production capacity over the next 18 months in Australia, North America and the United Kingdom.

'Nortel's investment is a glowing endorsement of Australia's international competitiveness as a new economy and the Government's commitment to maximising the opportunities arising from the burgeoning IT sector,' Senator Alston said.

'Australia will be a major beneficiary from Nortel's new photonics facility locally manufacturing components in Sydney.'

Nortel Networks acquired Photonics Technologies earlier this year, and will now invest a further $100 million and engage some 640 new staff. The facility will be mainly dedicated to the export market and again demonstrates the capacity of Australian manufacturing to match the best in the world.

Photonics Technologies was a Sydney based designer and manufacturer of innovative, high-quality optical components for telecommunications applications, and is now benefiting from the international commercial networks and resources available under the Nortel Networks' umbrella.

Nortel Networks is a key global IT&T company building the high performance Internet, which has shown its commitment to Australia by undertaking over $540 million of industry development as part of the Partnerships for Development program for over 10 years.

Nortel's decision comes hot at the heels of Monday's announcement by IBM

Australia to establish its Asia Pacific e-business centre in Sydney at a cost of $23 million.

'The Coalition Government will continue to assist the development of Australia's burgeoning IT&T sector, assisting new and aspiring entrepreneurs turn their technology and ideas into successful, globally competitive businesses across the economy through initiatives such as the $78 million Building IT Strengths (BITS) incubator program,' Senator Alston said.

'The Government's business tax reforms of late last year have been of particular benefit to the IT&T sector. The halving of the Capital Gains Tax rate for individuals has increased after-tax rates of return, making both "angel" investments and entrepreneurial activity in innovative start-up ventures more attractive.'

Media contact: Sasha Grebe, Senator Alston's office 02 6277 7480 or 0409 445 246 Website: 075/00 25 July 2000

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