Not a “flop”: Hunt defends Turnbull’s innovation push


news Newly appointed Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science Greg Hunt has defended the government’s emphasis on innovation after its Federal Election campaigning on the issue was described as a “flop”.

Hunt’s comments were in response to a journalist when making his first press conference as innovation minister at Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre in Canberra.

The journalist asked Hunt: “Do you acknowledge the criticism during and after the federal election that the theme of innovation was a bit of a flop for the Turnbull Government and scared a lot of voters – do you agree with that?”

Defending Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s stance on the subject, Hunt stressed: “I think innovation is incredibly important.”

“Innovation matters for everybody because it’s about productivity – and that’s about more jobs, better jobs, better wages, and more profitability,” he went on.

Earlier in his conference, Hunt had set out his vision for innovation and science as a “critical driver of productivity in Australia”.

“[T]his is about saying that science matters, that innovation matters, that the National Innovation and Science Agenda is fundamental not just to the future but to now,” Hunt said. “At the highest level, the Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio is about creating jobs and giving people a sense that they have a long term job future in this country.”

Sixty per cent of Australia’s productivity “comes from innovation”, Hunt told the audience, adding that businesses “often feel that it doesn’t apply to them”.

“It does,” he stressed.

Previously Environment Minister, Hunt was moved to the innovation portfolio in the Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle following the recent Federal Election.

When asked if he had requested the move, the minister said: “My approach has been to work with the Prime Minister and to indicate that I loved the portfolio I was doing, because that was about science and innovation, but I’d be delighted to take this up as a broader possibility.”

Saying that he was “very relaxed about those different roles”, Hunt added: “I could not be more thrilled about what we’ve achieved in the environment space”.

“We have laid out a foundation which I believe will be the structure for Australia’s climate and reef policies going forward over decades and will stand the test of time,” he said.


  1. “Sixty per cent of Australia’s productivity “comes from innovation”, Hunt told the audience”

    And yet, they’ve crippled the NBN, slashed funding for the CSIRO, and are sucking money out of education & training organisations left, right and centre.

    Why was it that the electorate didn’t believe them, again?

    • Admittedly this was under the Tony Abbott led government.
      But the LNP haven’t do anything since MT got the rains to reverse this change. Early days?

      • And in some ways, we’ve continued to go backwards. And what constitutes early days to MT’s defenders? He’s been in power almost a year now, with ample opportunity to distance himself from Mr Abbott’s legacy and reverse his changes.

  2. They dumped both FTTP and a science department. Then have the nerve carrying on that they are still important ?

    • They are applying the theory that if you continue lying for long enough, eventually people will be brainwashed. It’s nothing short of dishonesty & is deplorable.

  3. Hunt is an incredibly dishonest member. Turnbull’s actions on innovation are as effective as an ashtray on a motorbike. Eg, funding cuts to the CSIRO, reduced training & education funding, changes to the Job Network system which has meant that there is NO MONEY for training courses for the unemployed. One has to first somehow get a job they aren’t qualified for, then apply for funding for the forklift ticket etc. after, which has to be one of the most moronic concepts I’ve heard. So if Hunt is saying that Turnbull’s innovation agenda is going well, he’s either lying, or his standards are apallingly low. Either way, both Turnbull & Hunt are incredibly dishonourable men.

  4. Propaganda!

    There are still an endless flow of Australian entrepreneurs and ICT professionals moving to the U.S. to do startups and to find jobs.

  5. How can you have “innovation” when you can’t even have modern fast reliable telecommunications in Australia?
    Very much an oxymoron…
    Or is it when the Australian Government mentions “innovation” they really mean, “selling the country off to chinese investors”….

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