Western Australia has the country's fastest growing tech sector, but we can do so much more.
Our proximity to Asia and booming mining industry provides ample opportunity for growth.
But to unlock that potential, the Government must demonstrate leadership.
Tech start-ups need customers, not hand-outs.
But getting that first client can often be difficult, and there's where government contracts come into play.
When it comes to tech-related tenders for work, the Government should preference WA-based start-ups ahead of interstate or international ones'.
Beyond that, the Government should:
- Appoint a 'Chief Entrepreneur' to promote WA as a top-tier destination for tech incubation;
- Set aside for tech start ups 25 per cent of the proceeds from its resources-backed investment fund; and
- Invest in cheap and renewable energy to facilitate growth in the regional cloud and datacentres market.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 60,000 Western Australians work in tech.
But given that Australia needs 1.2 million workers in tech by 2030, the State Government needs to boost that number.
That is why we must:
- Provide teachers with more resources to improve digital literacy and raise awareness of career pathways in tech;
- Partner with Generation Australia to up-skill and re-skill workers from existing industries into tech; and
- Create a tech-based apprenticeship and encourage businesses to recognise that as an alternate pathway.
Data is the digital gold of the 21st century.
That's exactly why the Government needs to keep up with trends, and ensure that laws adequately protect user data.
Beyond cracking down on spam and scams, the Government should:
- Create GDPR-style data privacy laws that shift the ownership of user data from companies back to the user;
- Establish financial penalties for companies that fail to implement and enforce best practises in data security; and
- Lobby the federal government to require telcos to unlock mobile towers to users on any network in regional areas.
Tech can be a powerful force for good in humanity, but only if we mold it to suit the interests of the people and not those of corporations - Wilson Tucker MLC