Ballarat is unusual amongst Australia's major regional centres in that it has a strong technology industry presence '” with companies like IBM, for example, operating major facilities in the city, as do a number of other technology firms. In addition, Ballarat hosts an active Linux Users' Group '” a factor which may have played in the city's favour during the application process.
The Ballarat team wrote on its nascent site that it hoped to show another side of Australia to both locals and those '” often open source luminaries '” who travelled from abroad for the annual conference.
'Ballarat, located about an hour from Melbourne, is a perfect example of the contrasting nature of Australian lifestyles,' the team wrote. 'Once founded on the gold mines of the diggings, Ballarat has now matured into a thriving town that has embraced 21st century innovation without forgetting its historical past. Nestled into the surrounding bushland, the University of Ballarat, as host venue for LCA2012, offers a vastly different experience to traditional universities, being large enough to host events such as LCA whilst remaining small enough to retain the 'laid back' feel of a regional facility.'
Not all bids to host Linux.conf.au would have been taken as seriously as Ballarat's successful undertaking, however.
A number of New Zealand Linux enthusiasts have set up a humorous attempt to bring the flagship open source conference to the frozen southern continent of Antarctica. The team's bid site notes that it's a joke inspired by Brisbane's warm climate.
But the site might sound appealing to some of the more adventurous in the Linux community '” offering 'amazing ice sculptures, mini-conferences focused on igloo making and local wildlife in tune with the Linux operating system's mascot '” Antarctica being one of the favourite global homes of penguins.