StartupAUS welcomes Turnbull’s new innovation ministers


news StartupAUS, the technology entrepreneurship advocacy group, has welcomed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s new innovation ministers, appointed as part of a post-election Cabinet reshuffle.

Following the changes, Greg Hunt has become Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, replacing Christopher Pyne who moves onto defence, and Craig Laundy will be Assistant Minister for Innovation, replacing the ousted Wyatt Roy.

Alex McCauley, CEO of StartupAUS, said his organisation “had confidence” that both of the new ministers would deliver “strong results in an area that had been reconfirmed as a key priority for the Turnbull Government”.

As Environment Minister, McCauley said, Hunt has already this year delivered the Clean Energy Innovation Fund – a $1 billion renewable energy program with an emphasis on innovation.

“Greg Hunt is one of the Government’s most senior frontbenchers. He is experienced, credible, and capable. He has worked across portfolios and in the private sector, and his appointment to this role is a clear and welcome sign that innovation policy remains right at the top of the Turnbull Government’s economic agenda,” the CEO said.

“We look forward to working with him to help build and implement a bold and ambitious innovation agenda,” he added.

StartupAUS also welcomed the appointment of Laundy as Assistant Minister for Innovation.

McCauley said the Liberal’s Wyatt Roy and Labor’s Ed Husic had been the first frontbenchers on each side to occupy this “focused innovation role”.

“Both men were welcomed as honorary members of startup communities around the country, and we look forward to welcoming Craig Laundy with equal enthusiasm,” he said.

StartupAUS said it has “actively engaged” with all levels of government, to help shape some of the country’s “most important economic policy discussions”.

“One of our key objectives is providing greater support for the creation and growth of tech startups, specifically those that have the potential to be globally commercial companies,” said McCauley.

“If we are to become a knowledge intensive economy, we need to up our game by assisting ‘generation startup’ in incentivising their ideas. This is an area that we believe requires considerable attention,” he stressed.

StartupAUS indicated it is currently developing policy options that it believes will help Australia join the “elite ranks” of global startup ecosystems such as those in the US, Israel, the UK and elsewhere.

As part of this work, the organisation will shortly release what it called its “most ambitious Crossroads Report to date”.

“With two new ministers in the portfolio, and the Labor party also committed to innovation, the 2016 Crossroads Report will present a host of opportunities to develop world-leading innovation policy in the new Parliament,” concluded McCauley.

In the reshuffle, Prime Minister Turnbull also named Dan Tehan as the first ever Minister Assisting the PM on Cyber Security.

The new role was first promised by the PM in April, and will see Tehan work with the still-unannounced holder of another newly created post – that of Cyber Ambassador.

Image credit: Parliamentary Broadcasting