Ed Husic has thrown down the bipartisan gauntlet to the federal government, saying “old politics” needs to be left behind when it comes to innovation.
The shadow parliamentary secretary assisting with digital innovation and startups spoke in Parliament on Monday and challenged the government to actively work with Labor on the innovation statement and include their policies too.
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“If we are supposed to be leaving by the kerbside the old politics and if we are supposed to be able to work together, I would make this modest recommendation to the government,” Husic said.
Labor has announced a slew of potential policies centred on innovation and startups, and Husic said he hopes these will also be taken into account in the upcoming policy announcement.
“If they want to innovate in this statement, demonstration in the statement the list of things we have put forward as a result of our consultations with the startup sector,” he said.
“When you list your ideas, also list what you are prepared to work with the opposition on.
“If it is just a statement that represents all that the government wants to do and then demands that the opposition basically fall into line on it, that is not what is expected by the startup sector.
“The startup sector expects us to come up with ideas that we can work with one another on to advance the national interest. It will be interesting what happens on that front.”
The startup community has been continually calling out for a bipartisan approach to this area of politics, although both sides have criticised the other’s approach.
Minister for industry, innovation and science Christopher Pyne recently labelled the opposition’s focus on this area as a “new found desire” and said “good ideas” were needed instead of the proposals.
Labor has also had a go at the government’s approach to innovation, with shadow treasurer Chris Bowen labelling it as “all talk”.
But Husic argued that startup policies need a different approach.
“There is a hunger within the startup community to see both sides of politics working actively together,” he said.
“They do not want to see one idea torn down by the other side, and vice versa. That is why Labor has said that we are prepared to work with the government on this agenda.
“We are prepared to do it because innovation does not wait for a federal election. This is a long-term agenda and we need to start working on it now.
“This cannot be a victim of the old politics; it demands a new approach.”
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