A Labor state government would appoint a chief entrepreneur to improve innovation across the public and private sector in NSW.
Labor's spokeswoman for innovation and better regulation, Swansea MP Yasmin Catley, made the announcement on Tuesday, saying the role would follow the successful model implemented by the Queensland and South Australian Labor governments.
The chief entrepreneur would head up Enterprise NSW, a new unit tasked with ensuring the state's public service is at the forefront of innovation.
“The chief entrepreneur will come from outside government and report to the Premier and the Minister for Innovation on the progress of innovation in NSW, as well as any obstacles within government that stifle new ideas, new jobs and new markets,” she said.
NSW Election 2019
The chief entrepreneur would also work with the private sector, TAFE’s and universities to create an economic and social climate conducive to new ways of doing business and creating jobs.
Labor believes there is a lack of strategy and leadership around innovation, new jobs and emerging industries in NSW.
It says the government has viewed innovation as being restricted to the inner city.
Labor would establish regional innovation districts, overseen by innovation councils, in regions like the Central Coast and the Illawarra.
“Areas like the Central Coast and the Hunter are engine rooms of our economy – they are renowned for their ingenuity and have a key role to play in a future NSW economy,” The Entrance MP David Mehan said.
“Regional hubs in areas like the Central Coast are going to benefit hugely through increased investment in universities, a rebuilt TAFE system, and new and innovative businesses.
“New technologies and innovation will mean creating jobs for future generations. Those jobs should be here on the Central Coast and across the regions – not just within 10km of the Sydney CBD.”
Labor also plans to establish a $20 million program encouraging universities to open up innovation spaces to the broader community.
“Labor is putting innovation in the spotlight," Ms Catley said.
"Along with Labor’s solar and renewable initiatives, cutting edge electric vehicle policy, and important social policies supporting our creative arts and the night economy, Labor will create the jobs of tomorrow and future proof NSW against the shocks of a rapidly changing global economy."