Business Start Up Programs – John Barilaro NSW Parliament Hansard Script

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Business Start Up Programs – John Barilaro NSW Parliament Hansard Script


Mr MICHAEL JOHNSEN ( Upper Hunter ) ( 14:38 ): My question is addressed to the Deputy Premier. Will the Deputy Premier inform the House of any outcomes about start-up programs?

Mr JOHN BARILARO ( Monaro—Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional New South Wales, Minister for Skills, and Minister for Small Business) (14:38): I thank the member for Upper Hunter for his question. He is a member who understands the importance of small business and innovation in driving jobs for the economy. In the region of Upper Hunter that he represents, off the back off the mining boom we saw some of the greatest innovative changes and transformations. Businesses today that are the legacy of the mining boom are part of the new world and new opportunities through robotics, innovation and advanced manufacturing. They are creating jobs, exporting products and setting up Australia and this State to be in a successful position when it comes to innovation and technology.

Ideas start from a small place. The Government, through Jobs for NSW, has always supported innovation in this State. It supports businesses looking to start up, scale up and innovate. If you are not embracing technology and innovation you will not compete in a global market. The start-up program through Jobs for NSW comprises the minimum viable product and the building partnership grants. To date those grants have helped more than 107 new start-ups in New South Wales. Those ideas are the early stages of new entrepreneurial businesses of the future. They transform the economy and create jobs for the future.

As a Government it is important to support the start-up world. This State represents 41 per cent of the start-up community across Australia. Sydney is the capital for start-ups. Investment by this Government reaches regional areas. The Boosting Business Innovation Program provides $12 million for university sector research and data to partner with entrepreneurs as part of the start-up story. This morning, together with North Shore candidate Felicity Wilson, I visited a start-up called Ruppells Griffon. The Minister for Finance loves data and analytics. I encourage the Minister to visit Ana Ouriques at Ruppells Griffon. Ana will match the Minister’s love of data and analytics.

Her business uses geospatial analytics technology to help the NSW Department of Education map future needs for schools. It brings together data from across government to map resources in order to match spend and investment with areas of growth across the State. That is an example of someone looking to technology. Ms Ouriques had a career in the technology sector prior to backing herself and starting the company. Presently she has four employees and is looking to employ another two. Government funding provides the seed money. It is not much.

Mr Chris Minns: How much?

Mr JOHN BARILARO: It was about $14,000. It will ensure that Ruppells Griffon is part of the great start-up story. Rather than seeing the brain drain of graduates to other shores, Ms Ouriques has emigrated from Brazil to start a company in Australia and will shortly start a company in Brazil to tap into the South American market. Ana Ouriques is a great example of the innovators this State requires to remain the powerhouse for start-ups, research and innovation. It is not only the hipsters of Sydney but also people in the regions who are investing in ideas such as robotechnology, agriscience and digital innovation.

In Merimbula, in the electorate of Bega, a company called SlasherTeck is developing traffic drones and a robotic rubbish collection unit that could revolutionise maintenance of highways and roads for councils across Australia. The ideas are coming from the bush. It is not always about Sydney. The Government is committed to working with SlasherTeck. [Extension of time]

SlasherTeck is working with Transport for NSW. It is about Government; it is not just about the seed money for SlasherTeck of $98,000. There are patents pending, but working with Transport for NSW creates an opportunity for the product to be exported to the United States and Europe. It is about partnering and ensuring that new ideas are part of this economy. This is a nation of innovators and ideas and we should not hide from the opportunity to be a leader in this space and export ideas. We can match the world in advanced manufacturing. We have the expertise and by upskilling young people we will set up the workforce for the future. There presently exist over 7,000 small businesses in this State that create jobs that are important to the economy.

I will use this opportunity to touch on the natural disaster in the Northern Rivers region. Based on information from people on the ground, such as the Office of the Small Business Commissioner, it is clear that small businesses in Lismore, Murwillumbah and other areas will struggle. I note the Minister for Emergency Services has been advocating for individuals and communities. I assure the people of the Northern Rivers that they are in our thoughts. Within the next few days I will visit those areas and meet with small businesses to see what this Government can do to support those businesses and communities into the future.