Innovation central to economic policy and growth: Business Council of Australia

In its submission to the Senate Inquiry on Australia’s Innovation System, the Business Council of Australia has called for a long-term vision and leadership on innovation policy from Government.


The submission released today sends a clear message to the Abbott Government: stop the massive cuts to science, research and innovation and start backing Australia’s future potential.

According to the BCA:


“Innovation can no longer be viewed as an adjunct to economic policy and growth. It is central.”


“The Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into the Australian Innovation System is an opportunity to focus attention on the critical importance of innovation to growth the Australian economy, improving standards and creating the jobs of the future.”


Business Council of Australia: Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into the Australian Innovation System.


 The BCA’s submission makes a number of recommendations, including: establishing a National Innovation Council to facilitate a continuous, whole-of-government approach to innovation; restoring VET as a national priority; and implementing the Chief Scientist’s call for a National STEM Strategy.


Underlying the recommendations from the BCA is the recognition that jobs and investment follow science and innovation.


Labor put in place the framework for a world’s best science and research sector, a 10-year innovation agenda launched in 2009 in Powering Ideas. This was our commitment to high-tech, high-skill jobs and knowledge-powered industries.


In Government, we put science and innovation at the heart of the national agenda, boosting investment to $9.6 billion in 2013-14 alone – a 43 per cent increase on science, research and innovation.  


In contrast, after over a year in office, the Abbott Government has cut $400 million from annual funding. They still have no science minister, no innovation policy, and no plan to create a modern economy and jobs for the future.  


We’ve seen massive job losses announced, particularly in manufacturing, with over 5,500 in automotive alone with another 50,000 poised to go.


What we haven’t seen is any plan to deal with these job losses or transition Australia to the high-skill, high-tech jobs and industries of the future.


With the Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index contracting for a second consecutive month in September, the Government’s lack of policy direction to create jobs and sustain future industries is of dire concern.


That is why Labor established the Inquiry into Australia’s Innovation System – to fill the Abbott Government’s policy black hole and put innovation front and centre of the Australian political debate.


The Committee will report back to the Parliament by the first sitting day of July 2015.


Labor looks forward to engaging with all the submissions to the Innovation Inquiry and urges the Abbott Government to do the same.



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