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Industry, Opinion - Tuesday, June 10, 2014 12:54 - 6 Comments
This article is by James Riley. Riley is a technology writer and communications professional with more than 25 years’ experience in journalism, government relations and marketing communications. It first appeared on Riley’s site, InnovationAus, in addition to Business Spectator. It is replicated here with permission.
opinion Listening to the shrieks and squeals of tech sector commentators over the past few weeks, you’d be forgiven for thinking Joe Hockey’s first budget contained nothing for the industry. A more measured inspection of the budget entrails and you will find the Coalition has delivered a lot. A lot of pain, and a lot of lessons.
Because if you accept that a budget is ultimately a statement of direction and a statement of intent, then this government has told the tech sector all it needs to know. It is simply not interested. And that’s a powerful message from which the Australian tech sector has no choice but to learn. How the industry responds will determine the future for the tech industry in this country.
But a lot of whining and whingeing from the startup rent-seeker community isn’t going to help much. We know this because the strategy of endless whining about how hopeless government is and how no-one “gets it” has not worked so far. In fact, this strategy has had the opposite effect.
There is a massive disconnect between what the startup “community” says and what the policy-makers hear. Or rather, there is a disconnect between what the startup sector claims and what policy-makers believe. The budget has called “bullshit”.
How else to explain the startup sector being completely ignored in this budget? Despite having a higher profile than ever, and having better access to the political leadership than ever, the startup “community” could not even get its no-brainer flagship claim for a change in the tax treatment of employee share schemes across the line. So something is not working. And it is important that lessons are learned from this debacle. Continue…