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Innovation not a priority for Minns Labor Government

Extraordinarily in Budget Estimates today, Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology, Anoulack Chanthivong revealed that innovation and the start-up sector is not a priority for the Minns Labor Government.

Shadow Minister for Innovation, Mark Coure said since coming to power in March, the Minns Labor Government has failed the innovation sector, who have suffered from uncertainty, budget cuts and a lack interest from Minister Chanthivong in the issues affecting startups.

“Minister Chanthivong’s performance in Budget Estimates today confirmed he is a Minister who does not see value in the innovation portfolio, blaming the former government for his lack of advocacy to ensure there was a budget that appropriately supported founders in the innovation sector.” Mr Coure said.

“The Minister’s unwillingness to answer legitimate and important questions, including why he reduced the budget of the nation leading MVP Ventures Program from $10 million to $3 million, speaks volumes about his knowledge of the programs he is responsible for.”

“In eight months since becoming Minister, Minister Chanthivong has also failed to meet with significant innovation sector stakeholders, instead, choosing pollsters and unions over innovators and entrepreneurs like Fishburners, an anchor tenant of the Sydney Startup Hub.”

“NSW based innovators and entrepreneurs make an enormous contribution to our economy, and reputation as a nation-leader in this space – they deserve a Minister who actually values this work.”

Liberal MLC Jacqui Munro said founders who had originally set up in NSW because of the strong support on offer were now looking interstate due to policy uncertainty from the Minns Labor Government.

“We no longer have a government in NSW that is willing to provide stability and reliability for a thriving innovation sector. Minister Chanthivong had an opportunity to correct the record today, but instead dodged legitimate policy and process questions, refusing to give certainty to founders who have been seeking information for months.” Ms Munro said.

“The NSW Liberals and Nationals will continue to call out the Minns Government and Minister Chanthivong for abandoning the innovation sector and will fight to keep NSW as the innovation capital of Australia.”