Building on Labor’s commitment to Australia’s innovative future and creating the jobs of the 21st century, Shadow Parliamentary Secretaries Ed Husic and Alannah MacTiernan today visited soon-to-be-opened startup accelerator Flux in Perth.

Flux – along with its sister accelerator Spacecubed – help mentor and build Western Australia’s next generation of startups who will grow the state’s jobs of the future.

With two thirds of new startups currently emerging from Sydney, a greater focus needs to be placed on plans to involve the entire country in our nation’s innovation push -- and Western Australia’s has a big part to play in this effort.

The Turnbull Government is spending more than $28 million on a glossy ‘Ideas Boom’ ad campaign that promotes itself – instead of directing greater support for innovation activity in Western Australia.

Ed Husic and Alannah MacTiernan also visited Edith Cowan University’s Innovation Hub yesterday – a virtual innovation precinct that is working to develop the emergence of strong early stage innovators in Perth.

ECU is at the forefront of developing an industry management plan to encourage collaboration between the university and local small business. These connections will allow for the free flow of information and the creation of local jobs for graduating students.

By 2030 it’s been estimated that two out of every five Australian jobs will be affected by automation.

This means we need to invest now in developing the skills and entrepreneurship needed to create and sustain the jobs of the future, championing the type of work being undertaken by Flux, Spacecubed and Edith Cowan University.

When it comes to innovation, the Turnbull Government has been a big disappointment to WA.  It has failed to properly support schools; it has botched the rollout of the NBN and continued to cut jobs at the CSIRO – all measures that are vital to future innovative activity.

Unlike the Turnbull Government, the Labor Opposition team led by Bill Shorten has announced a raft of meaningful policies to back the talent of Australians wherever they live.

A Shorten Labor Government would co-fund the establishment of up to 20 new accelerators over three years based on applications to set up self-sustaining innovation hubs within universities and TAFEs that are closely integrated with the local business community. These hubs could provide support to regional entrepreneurs in various ways, including by:

  • Addressing skills and experience gaps by enabling established entrepreneurs from various parts of the country to team up with regional accelerators and mentor new startups; and/or

  • Enabling university-based accelerators to offer seed funding for a limited number of student-led startups on a competitive basis to support prototyping and early proof-of-concept.

This measure is just one of Labor’s fully-costed and fully-funded innovation initiatives, which will also:

  • Give every school student in Australia the opportunity to learn coding;

  • Provide 100,000 STEM Award Degrees – 20,000 a year for five years – which will write off the HECS debt of STEM Award Degree recipients upon graduation;

  • Encourage STEM graduates to teach by offering 25,000 Teach STEM scholarships over five years;

  • Create up to 2,000 new enterprises a year via a Startup Year, providing university students income contingent loans to build new businesses in university accelerators run by successful entrepreneurs; and

  • Introduce new visa categories for early-stage entrepreneurs to attract the best global entrepreneurial talent to help build Australia’s growing start-up ecosystem.


More information on Labor’s positive policies can be found here: http://www.futuresmartaustralia.org

14 APRIL 2016

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley

Ed supports