Cross-party focus to champion Australian tech

Wednesday, 18 October, 2023

Cross-party focus to champion Australian tech

The Tech Council of Australia (TCA) says the launch of a cross-party Parliamentary Friendship Group on Tech and Innovation is a positive move. The group was launched at an event hosted by the TCA and Business Council of Australia on the opportunities and challenges of AI development and adoption in Australia.

TCA CEO Kate Pounder welcomed the move, emphasising that widespread parliamentary support would be crucial to create more tech jobs and take advantage of the opportunities of productivity-enhancing technologies like AI.

“Tech is critical to creating new jobs and growth in Australia. It’s also impacting a range of policy issues that the Parliament must consider. We need to make sure that the Parliament and industry work together on these critical national issues. We’re thrilled to see such strong support for tech and innovation from representatives across the country.

“We congratulate Jerome Laxale, Aaron Violi and Allegra Spender for their leadership as co-chairs in bringing this group together. There is a huge appetite from all parts of the Parliament to better understand the opportunities of technologies such as AI and how to enable them, while appropriately managing the risks,” Pounder said.

“Positioning Australia at the global forefront of these cutting-edge technologies and getting to 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030 will require a united national approach and close collaboration with industry.”

The group, co-chaired by Jerome Laxale MP, Aaron Violi MP and Allegra Spender MP, will make it easier for parliamentarians and industry to engage on economic and policy issues. The group will help showcase the best Australian companies and innovations to parliamentarians and provide a forum for industry and parliamentarians to engage on topical issues.

Pounder observed that the broad support from members around the country emphasised the benefits of technology investment and jobs for all Australians.

“There are already 935,000 Australians working in tech jobs and they can be found in every state and territory, from our capital cities out into our regional and remote communities. Tech is contributing $167bn annually to the national economy and this is growing every day.”

TCA and BCA member companies that participated in the AI briefing included Atlassian, Accenture, Cochlear, Google, Harrison.AI, SEEK and Xero. The briefing covered how AI works, the economic implications of AI for Australia, and best practice approaches to regulation and governance.

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