Innovation not enough without action say key SA election candidates
Adelaide, Tuesday 20 February; The next South Australian Government must do more than just offer platitudes on innovation if they are to make South Australia a world class economy, according to participants in an election forum held at SAHMRI today by the ACS.
Minister for Manufacturing, Innovation, Science and the Information Economy the Hon Kyam Maher MLC, Shadow Minister for Industry Corey Wingard MP, Dignity Party MLC the Hon Kelly Vincent and Greens candidate for Waite Brendan White, joined a panel moderated by ACS South Australia Immediate Past Chair Jo Stewart-Rattray to outline their plans for jobs and innovation in South Australia, and how they will energise the economy should their party form Government.
Speaking about the Government’s announcement that Adelaide would be the home of the nation’s fastest internet, Minister Maher said “Labor is standing up for South Australia and taking control of our digital infrastructure to create the jobs of the future. Where we have rolled out our GigCity network it has delivered speeds 50 to 100 times faster than previously available at these sites, ten times faster than the NBN and at least 50 percent cheaper.”
Shadow Minister Wingard pointed to his plan to reduce economic barriers as a key part of growing the innovation economy.
“Businesses we speak to are feeling strangled – they don’t want to grow, which is why we need to provide tax relief for these businesses. If they see a better opportunity in another state, they will go. By creating the right environment, we can bring South Australia off the bottom of the table and develop a world’s best economy for innovation.”
Dignity Party MLC the Hon Kelly Vincent argued that inclusion was a key element of any policy framework as it would be needed to work for all South Australians.
“We can do so much better here in South Australia. Before we start teaching people how to use technology, we need to develop the desire to learn. Innovation is critical, but if we don’t make learning inclusive then we will be left behind.”
With a policy to close the digital divide, Greens candidate for Waite Brendan White also spoke of the importance of digital inclusion across a range of services.
ACS South Australia Immediate Past Chair Jo Stewart-Rattray welcomed the commitment of the candidates to improve the digital economy in South Australia
“South Australia is an economy in transition, and it is pleasing to see candidates from the major parties and the crossbench coming together to debate how we can build a digital economy to benefit all South Australians.”
“Whatever the outcome of the election, the message is clear. The digital economy can no longer be ignored as a source of significant economic growth for our state. As the professional association for the ICT sector we stand ready to help the new Government build our digital economy into a powerhouse.”
Thomas Shanahan, 0417 678 474
About the ACS
The ACS is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. More than 27,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.