Labor's Positive Plan for more Innovation in Queensland

07 October 2015

The choice for Queenslanders and all Australians has never been clearer: we must innovate to create and fill the jobs of the future, or will get left behind.

Speaking to students at Griffith University today, Shadow Assistant Minister for Higher Education, Amanda Rishworth, was joined by Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, Jim Chalmers, and Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett, to discuss a Shorten Labor Government’s plan to invest $17.8 million in reforms to drive the next generation of innovators, risk-takers and wealth-creators.

Labor believes Queensland can help establish Australia as the startup, technology and science capital of Asia by supporting the next generation of innovators here, bringing innovative expats home and attracting the best minds from around the world.

This positive plan will help more Australians make breakthroughs and adapt technology here in Queensland because our future prosperity depends on harnessing Australian ideas and defining a new global market for world-leading products.

“A Shorten Labor Government will create a Startup Year at universities so students and recent graduates can develop their idea, get business knowhow and connect with finance,” Shadow Assistant Minister for Higher Education, Amanda Rishworth said.

“Two out of every three jobs over the next decade and beyond will be in companies that don’t exist today; Labor has a plan to help our young innovators and entrepreneurs help create these jobs of the future.”

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Investment, Jim Chalmers, said Australia currently has one of the lowest rates of startup formation in the world.

“Malcolm Turnbull likes to talk about innovation but only Labor has a plan to help today’s university students become tomorrow’s innovators and job creators.

“Labor has also committed to creating a National Digital Workforce Plan to ensure a comprehensive, well thought out approach to tackling the crippling digital skills shortages confronting the country is undertaken.

“I was pleased to welcome Amanda Rishworth to my alma mater Griffith University today to visit the Red Zone which is leading the way in innovative learning technology in our universities.”

Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett, said Labor believes Government has a role to play in fostering a culture of innovation, rewarding people for good ideas and getting behind Australian creativity and enterprise without replacing or crowding out private investment.

“Bill Shorten and Labor have been working over the past two years with industry on a comprehensive plan to take advantage of the transition to the digital economy to secure today’s jobs, tomorrow’s jobs and ensure that no one is left behind.

“Labor’s positive plan for a smarter, more prosperous Australia is a breath of fresh air for the people of Moreton following two years of relentless negativity from the Abbott/Turnbull Government.

“Labor has a plan that will help create and fill the jobs of the future through education, innovation and targeted investment. Malcolm Turnbull has a plan for $100,000 degrees which is now in witness protection until after the next election.”

Labor’s plan to secure the jobs of the future also includes:

  • Wiping student debt for up to 100,000 young people who graduate from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at university, especially women;
  • Introducing 25,000 teaching scholarships for highly skilled STEM graduates to go on to teach in our schools;
  • Creating a $500 million Smart Investment Fund to back-in great Australian ideas and help them compete on the world stage;
  • Increasing the number of students completing their study by 20,000 graduates a year from 2020;
  • Introducing a new Student Funding Guarantee to remove the need for higher fees and a lifetime of debt;
  • Investing $31 million to boost the quality of teaching and resources  in our universities;
  • Delivering more information for parents and students so they can make good decisions about university;
  • Establishing an independent Higher Education Productivity and Performance Commission to ensure graduates meet the needs of the future economy; and
  • Introducing two new visa classes to attract the best global entrepreneurial talent to help build Australia’s growing startup ecosystem.