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Australia is ultra-competitive, and Coalition has a plan for further improvement.

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Australia is ultra-competitive, and Coalition has a plan for further improvement

The Global Competitiveness Report, which sees Australia surge up the annual league ladder of national economies from 11th to 5th, means Australia is on the right track to capture the benefits of future growth. Only the Coalition has laid out a plan to increase Australia’s future growth and innovation potential.

Australia’s leap up the ladder of 75 national economies was on the back of a great performance in the level of technology and innovation indicators, including :

level of tertiary enrolment (3rd of 75) ●

Widespread use of information and communications technology (5th of 75) ●

Venture capital availability (2nd of 75) ●

High quality scientific research institutions (9th of 75) ●

Tax credits for firm-level research and development (6th of 75). ●

The Report shows that the Coalition is on the right track: investing in education, research institutions and R&D incentives, as well as removing regulatory and taxation burdens on the take-up of technology and venture capital.

Only the Coalition has a plan to improve Australia’s economic performance even further, by deepening our national investment in innovation. Backing Australia’s Ability, the record $2.9 billion investment in Australia’s innovation infrastructure, is supplemented with a number of other future plans which the Coalition has announced, which will:

Further improve levels of tertiary education by creating 28,000 new undergraduate places and 30,000 post-graduate places over the next 5 years - creating the equivalent of four new average sized universities; ●

encourage further take-up of technology through targetted infrastructure programs like the $50m National Communications Fund; ●

increase the flow of venture capital by up to $1 billion in the next five years by providing a world’s best practice investment vehicle for off-shore venture capital; ●

establish world-class Centres of Excellence in ICT and biotechnology; ● improve the access of firms to R&D tax concessions, by introducing a 175% premium R&D tax concession, and introducing a cash-out option for pre-profit SMEs. ●

By contrast, Kim Beazley’s knowledge nation rhetoric is looking more and more hollow. Kim Beazley has been talking for years about the subject, but less than three weeks from the federal election, he has not come up with a single, significant solution to match his rhetoric. His rhetoric about creating a knowledge nation pales into insignificance when compared with the Coalition’s carefully considered action agenda, which has won the support of scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs and educators around Australia.

Media Contact: Annabelle Herd 03 9650 0233 or 0408 293 458

26 October 2001