It is with great excitement that I have today accepted my appointment as Bill Shorten’s Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Assisting with Digital Innovation and Startups.
This is the first time that the role of startups has been recognised in a shadow ministerial or ministerial lineup - reflecting Labor's view that startups form a crucial growth platform for the broader Australian economy.
From what I've seen after spending the better part of this Parliamentary term listening to and talking with startups is that Australia has a lot to be proud of.
There are a lot of Aussie startups - formed by young, energetic founders - that are continuing to impress at home and abroad.
Representing and championing the ideas and concerns of the startup community within the Federal Opposition is something I'm really looking forward to. I passionately believe in their great work and potential.
It's deeply concerning that the rate of startup formation in Australia is low compared to some of our competitors. Government actions can help support the emergence of a stronger startup ecosystem - something that will help generate the jobs of the future.
That's why Labor has released two waves of policies which:
- Promote the teaching of coding and computational thinking in primary schools;
- Boost the number of young Australians taking up STEM courses as well as upskill 25,000 teachers;
- Offer a Startup Year at university to young Australians looking to start up their own enterprise;
- Work to find ways improve the investment links between superannuation funds and the venture capital community;
- Attract the best global entrepreneurial talent and help build Australia’s growing startup ecosystem through two new visa categories;
- Get startups to help solve government problems through Challenge Platforms and support startups to compete in government tenders;
- Generate the skills required for our emerging digital economy now through a National Digital Workforce Plan;
- Back in great ideas through co-investing in early stage and high potential companies through the $500m Smart Investment Fund;
- Improve access to finance for micro-businesses through a partial guarantee scheme, Start-Up Finance.
I look forward to working with Bill Shorten in developing and releasing further policies in the coming weeks and months - all designed to help Australian startups to succeed and grow.
MEDIA CONTACT: NATHAN METCHER 0447 667 165