The Australian Innovation Festival encourages us to take risks, innovate and create a better future.
Innovation, the Festival’s theme, comes from creativity, connections, collaboration and commercialisation.
Over 11 years, your Festival has showcased Australian innovators and celebrated Australia’s successes.
The primary challenge for government here is to create the right settings for Australian ingenuity and creativity to flourish. Above all, government should not assume that it knows best or seek to punish success.
Take the National Broadband Network. The Coalition believes that spending $50 billion of taxpayers’ money on a new fixed line broadband network, effectively creating a monopoly in a sector which has been transformed by competition, will stymie telecommunication innovation in Australia and end up a ‘white elephant’.
There will always be a role for governments to support scientific research and to encourage greater collaboration between public researchers and the private sector. However, the collaboration between the private and public sectors needs to recognise the sectors’ differing capacities and goals. Governments need to recognise that the private sector is the one best placed to make judgements about the commercialisation of innovation.
Red tape is one of the most significant impediments to innovation. Since 2007, the Rudd/Gillard Government has added over 16,000 regulations and repealed less than 100.
The Coalition has established a Deregulation Taskforce, chaired by Senator Arthur Sinodinos, to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses by at least $1 billion a year. The Coalition wants to work with industry to identify the blockages that hinder innovation and risk taking.
Of course, a strong economy provides the essential foundation for investment and innovation. That’s why we will rescind the carbon tax which will act as a reverse tariff making Australian exports more expensive. It will just send Australian emissions and jobs overseas.
Our plan is to build a stronger economy for a stronger Australia. We have a plan to get government spending down and productivity up. We will live within our means, like families do, and reduce pressure on interest rates.
Less pressure on interest rates means greater confidence among business and a greater willingness to commercialise innovation.
I wish the organisers and participants at the Australian Innovation Festival every success as you seek to create greater economic opportunities for our country and its people.
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