Media Release

17 November 2018

Southwick: Supporting Victoria’s strengths through innovation

Friday 16 November 2018                            

Supporting Victoria’s strengths through innovation

The Liberal Nationals are committed to creating new, sustainable and innovative jobs throughout metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Daniel Andrews has lost control of population growth which is why the Liberal Nationals have a plan to decentralise our jobs and our population across our state.

As part of that plan to decentralise our jobs and our population whilst strengthening our economy, a Liberal Nationals Government will deliver a new innovation policy to drive commercialisation-based collaboration between Victorian industry, universities and businesses.

To strengthen and diversify the Victorian economy, an elected Matthew Guy led Liberal Nationals Government will fund a $32 million Innovation Package, which includes:

  • the establishment of up to six Industry Commercialisation Institutes that will focus on strategic growth sectors, including one in Morwell specialising in Carbon Innovation;
  • a new $9 million Innovation Vouchers Program which will offer matched grant funding to businesses in strategic growth sectors unlocking $18 million in commercial investment;
  • delivering a new Victorian Chief Innovation Officer to provide high level advice to government on innovation, science and technology matters and programs;
  • delivering new Entrepreneurs In Schools and Students Internship programs to develop and support young and innovative thinkers and;
  • utilising Victorian small businesses and social ventures to deliver solutions to public sector service delivery challenges through a new $1 million VicVentures grants scheme.

Despite Victoria’s universities and research agencies producing world-class research in many areas, Australia ranks 33rd out of 33 of the OECD countries for collaboration between universities, publicly funded research organisations and business.

A Liberal Nationals Government will drive collaboration and support commercialisation opportunities throughout our economy.

Our programs will have a strong regional focus and leverage existing strengths of Victoria’s economy such as advanced manufacturing, health and agriculture.

Victoria’s international competitiveness and economic prosperity increasingly depends on ensuring that we have skills appropriate for the digital age and are able to create a more innovative, entrepreneurial platform for high value jobs.

The Liberal Nationals are committed to supporting a decentralised economy with an innovative culture that builds on Victoria’s key areas of competitive advantage.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Innovation, David Southwick:

“To stay relevant in a globally competitive world, Victoria needs a diverse, innovative and collaborative economy.

We need to get back in control of population growth and that means growing our cities in the right way, in the right time, and ensuring good jobs for locals.

A Liberal Nationals Government will support Victorian businesses that have done the hard yards and help turn their start-ups into grown-ups.”