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Innovation: Labor stumped on definition of 'Innovation'

The Andrews Labor Government has today shown how little it cares or knows about Victorian innovation.

Innovation Minister Adem Somyurek today told the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee that the 2015/16 State Budget delivered for Innovation in Victoria through a $60 million over 4 years ‘Start-Up Victoria’ initiative.

Labor’s Start-Up Victoria program is not to be confused with ‘Startup Victoria,’ the not-for-profit organisation dedicated to building and supporting Victoria’s start-up ecosystem, one of the largest entrepreneurship groups in Australia.

However, when asked about details of the fund and the Panel which will provide advice to the Premier on how to spend the fund, the Minister stated that the Government is still defining ‘Start-Up’ and there is no process in selecting the Panel or limit to how much they will be paid from the fund.

When Minister Somyurek was asked to outline his responsibilities as Innovation Minister, he stated that he will be working with his Ministerial colleagues but failed to answer why the portfolio responsibilities has been stripped of vital areas including science and research, games and film.

Comments from Shadow Innovation Minister David Southwick MP

“The fact that the Andrews Government and his Innovation Minister are unable to define ‘Start-Up’ 8 months after announcing their $60 million flagship Start-Up initiative is painting a bleak future for Victorian businesses and jobs.

“Again, this shows how great Labor is at pouring money into a thought-bubble without even checking if the name of the program is already taken.

“Being the Minister for Innovation in the Andrews Labor Government must be the easiest job in the world: a comfy office, with no responsibility.”

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