As the summer break draws to a close and the tech ecosystem ratchets up activities for the year, it is worth reflecting on the big policy discussions ahead.
The front end of 2019 will be frenetic. New South Wales goes to the polls in March, with the federal election expected to follow in May after the Morrison government delivers an earlier-than-usual federal budget in April.
This will be an extraordinary period of fertile and febrile policy discussion. Certainly at InnovationAus.com we are preparing for a very busy period indeed. It has never been more important that we elevate the policy conversation out of entrenched silos of interests.
Our mission is to provide a lateral distribution of news and insights horizontally across different industries, different governments, and different sectors from venture capital to institutional research, government delivery agencies and small business.
With this in mind, we are seeking your feedback on the work we do via a short, three-minute survey to ensure that we are putting our resources into the policy areas where they will have maximum impact.
The results of the survey will help to inform the editorial direction and tone for 2019. We will publish a full set of finding in the coming weeks.
The 2019 election year is a huge opportunity for the sector to debate and influence policy creation. We hope the debate is full of ideas rather than invective, and we will be doing our best to deliver on this.
In the technology industry, we are very used to rapid change. But that does not mean all change is welcome. If there is one thing the industry craves, it is consistency – something that has been missing in recent years.
With six industry ministers, three Treasurers and three Prime Ministers since the 2013 election, consistency has been in short supply.
The treatment of the industry portfolio has frankly made life difficult, particularly for smaller Australian tech companies. Each new minister has sought to put their stamp on policy, but none were in the job long enough to provide industry with the confidence of consistency.
The amount of whitewater this has created is extraordinary. As we move into the election, people are craving stability. Regardless of the outcome, it is to be hoped that the re-branding of programs and the shuffling of deckchairs can be kept to a minimum.
Consistency and the better communications of long-term goals for Australia – and for the technology and research sectors – has to be regarded as key.
We are looking forward to a big 2019, and welcome your suggestions on how we can improve our coverage of important policy issues. You can find our reader survey here, or can be contacted at any time via email.
We will be working hard to push innovation policy up the list of priorities during this election year, and we look forward to working with you.
On a personal note, I would like to thank our readers for your support, and wish you a prosperous and successful 2019!