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StartupAUS welcomes Shorten's Budget reply

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 08 April, 2019

StartupAUS welcomes Shorten's Budget reply

Industry body StartupAUS has hailed the Labor party’s focus on R&D in its Budget reply as a welcome respite for “a sector feeling under attack” by the current government.

During his Budget reply, Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten pledged that a Labor government would “invest in industries where Australia can be best in the world”, which includes science and research, advanced manufacturing and hydrogen energy.

Shorten also made pledges including introducing Australia’s first electric vehicle policy, investing in opening up apprenticeships and university positions to help address skills shortages and a $2000 payment for families installing a lithium battery storage system for enhanced energy efficiency.

StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley said due to the ongoing confusion over the government’s planned changes to the R&D Tax Incentive scheme and following a continued decline in investment in research within Australia, Shorten’s address shows welcome signs of leadership.

“It’s a promising sentiment to see an active focus on R&D. We could add a lot of new and emerging industries to Shorten’s list — including, of course, ‘software’, which is going to drive economic growth globally in the next few decades,” McCauley said.

“The decline of R&D across the economy is a huge red flag for Australia, so it’s encouraging to see Labor’s platform starting to address the issue. Labor has also previously committed to doubling aggregate R&D spending in Australia by 2030 — a very positive target that will take lots of creative thinking and ambition to achieve.”

But McCauley added that neither party has outlined a credible strategic vision for helping Australia maintain its prosperity in a technology-driven economy.

“We’re hoping our politicians step up in the election campaign to outline their vision and plan for Australia’s economic future,” he said.

Pictured: StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley. Courtesy StartupAUS.

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