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The Federal Government is committed to making innovation a centrepiece of the Australian economy. Policy Hack is an opportunity for industry to develop and pitch innovative solutions to some of Australia’s most pressing policy problems and help foster the growth of innovation industries in Australia.

Along with Assistant Minister for Innovation Hon. Wyatt Roy MP, BlueChilli will bring together representatives from startups, VC funds, accelerators and other components of the innovation ecosystem, with policy experts from departments of Treasury, Industry and Communications to collaborate in a one-day industry policy hackathon in Sydney, Saturday 17 October 2015.

We’ll use the hackathon methodology to nominate, select and work together in mixed teams on new government policy ideas designed to foster the growth of innovation industries including tech startups, biotech, agtech, fintech, renewables and resources.

Funding, taxation, education, migration — everything is on the table.

The champions on the highest voted policies will be invited to Sydney to lead teams on the day to workshop their ideas with government representatives.

The goal is to present a set of creative new ideas to an audience of government officials by the end of the day, to give them the top-line thinking from which full policy can be developed and implemented.

If you have a policy idea or you’d like to see and vote on which policy ideas are collaborated on at Policy Hack, you can get started right now.

The Federal Government is committed to making innovation a centrepiece of the Australian economy. Policy Hack is an opportunity for industry to develop and pitch innovative solutions to some of Australia’s most pressing policy problems and help foster the growth of innovation industries in Australia.

Along with Assistant Minister for Innovation Hon. Wyatt Roy MP, BlueChilli will bring together representatives from startups, VC funds, accelerators and other components of the innovation ecosystem, with policy experts from departments of Treasury, Industry and Communications to collaborate in a one-day industry policy hackathon in Sydney, Saturday 17 October 2015.

We’ll use the hackathon methodology to nominate, select and work together in mixed teams on new government policy ideas designed to foster the growth of innovation industries including tech startups, biotech, agtech, fintech, renewables and resources.

Funding, taxation, education, migration — everything is on the table.

The champions on the highest voted policies will be invited to Sydney to lead teams on the day to workshop their ideas with government representatives.

The goal is to present a set of creative new ideas to an audience of government officials by the end of the day, to give them the top-line thinking from which full policy can be developed and implemented.

If you have a policy idea or you’d like to see and vote on which policy ideas are collaborated on at Policy Hack, you can get started right now.

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The "1% rule". Mandate that 1% of all superannuation must be invested in venture capital. PROBLEM: Australia has plenty of entrepreneurs and increasingly there is enough seed investment around to get ventures off the ground. But startups move offshore when they need a Series A/B to grow. Seed-stage startups typically don't employ many people and don't make a profit. It's only when they get to the growth stage and they hire 50, 100, 200 people etc and start turning a profit that they deliver a net benefit to society. Right now, those companies are going offshore because there just aren't enough VCs who play in the Series A or B space ($1m-$10m) and valuations are a lot lower than overseas, which means Australia is missing out on the startup companies that actually generate jobs and tax revenue. Blackbird is doing some amazing work and recently raised a fund from super funds to play in the series A space. But more needs to be done. SOLUTION: mandate that 1% of superannuation funds need to be invested in venture capital specifically for Series A & B rounds. Australia has $2.02 trillion in supernannuation funds as of June 2015. Redirecting 1% of that is not going to hurt anyone, but it is going to make an extra $20 BILLION available to Australia's startup sector. Without affecting the government budget whatsoever. It would probably make more sense to phase this in over time - I don't think Australia could realistically deploy $20 billion in VC investment overnight - but having access to a major pool of capital like that would ensure that more Aussie startups stay in Australia, create jobs here, pay taxes here. And it would also create an "investor class" of previously successful Aussie founders who are able to invest in the next generation of Aussie entrepreneurs.

Create a Special Economic Zone in SEQ Queensland to match the Taxation conditions of Singapore & Ireland for High Tech Industry.

The establishment of a High Tech Special Economic Zone in South East Queensland (3 Major Airports, Proximity to the Asia Pacific, Attractiveness of the Climate to attract IT Global Company Operations Headquarters over Singapore), with a Taxation environment matching Singapore (And Ireland) for just the High Tech (IT, Telco, Software, Digital Business) sector, has a great potential to attract the APAC Sales hubs from the Multinationals of these industries, rather than to Singapore.
Rather than earning very little in taxation from these digital industries, we could be attracting the larger portion of it to Australia for the APAC hubs, not only to retain this taxation income in Australia, but to attract further income from the Asia Pacific for these operations. Australia is one of the few countries that does not implement Special Economic Zones for these trade benefits. More than a hundred do. But the majority of them are established to help a poor performing sector (eg. rural). In this instance it is to provide an ideal business environment for these High Tech Hubs specifically without detracting from Taxation income in other sectors, and make this region attractive to the Innovation industries. Australia and SEQ have many great attractions (Climate, political stability, financial stability, a good rule of law, etc), and the remaining element would be a competitive taxation regime for these industries. This would have a relatively low establishment cost, It is predominantly legislative change, similar to the attractive offers made to Virgin and Boeing to setup in the State, but as a formal Special Economic Zone (SEZ). For many years we have wished to establish a 'Silicon Valley' in Australia, with a High Tech SEZ, this could be the ideal seed for establishing that reality. We address the leaking of taxation income from this sector, and create an attractive area in Australia for High Tech industry investment in one swift blow.

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Let's help Australia lead the way in creating a network of affordable, sustainable housing, by funding housing co-operatives. Affordable housing is a stated aim of all of the state and territory governments, yet the Australian housing sector is in crisis. Housing is more unaffordable than ever, with workers, students and families priced out of housing. Home ownership rates and the quality of public housing have declined, while rents and housing prices have only increased.

Co-operative housing is part of the solution to the housing crisis, which will contribute to a stronger, more sustainable Australia by building citizenship simultaneously with secure, long term housing. Co-operative housing is a model in which tenants are also owners and managers of the building, and take on the responsibility of upkeep through shared labour. Co-operatives are governed by the principles of democratic member control, equality, equity, autonomy, non-discriminatory membership, respect and cooperation, education of members and concern for community. Currently Australia's successful co-operative models include state-provided public housing, and the Australian Student Housing Cooperative Organisation (ASHCO), which has member co-operatives across three states. Co-operative housing is a low-rent, high-value model, which promotes sustainability through shared resources and facilities and the enablement of high-density living. Co-operatives cost no more than private housing to build, but once built, they are economically self-sustaining, leverage autonomy and responsibility to improve cost-efficacy, and target low-income and disadvantaged populations. Australia needs a resilient, responsible, capable population, and Australia needs a sustainable solution to the housing crisis. Let's set up more co-operative housing and solve both of these problems.

The future of work is changing rapidly. This is a reality that governments, industries and communities are all faced with. To support the growth of Australia's tech ecosystem and to prepare Australians for 21st century jobs, we need a new approach. In this new Digital Age, a career in tech can bring about financial security and independence, therefore reducing long-term welfare dependancy.

Traditionally, jobs in tech have required a computer science degree. This is out of reach for many disadvantaged, unemployed individuals. But many jobs within the tech ecosystem no longer require a Bachelor's degree. Therefore, we should create an intensive, technical training program which prepares unemployed and/or underemployed Australians for in-demand tech jobs. The curriculum should focus on providing participants with the top job skills most-needed, according to key tech trends. Students should also acquire key professional skills and business skills required to help them land a job upon completion.
Wage subsidies could be offered to employers who provide graduates with a job for at least 12 months. This programme could initially be trialled in a single location, and then expanded based on results. Overall, the training programme could provide valuable opportunities for groups of people who would otherwise be at risk of long-term welfare dependancy. At the same time, it could grow our ecosystem within Australia and drive innovation across various industries.

The challenge is how do we expect people to start businesses if they don't get exposed to it. So many students are told about careers and further training when they are at school, but miss out on being exposed to the exciting opportunities that could transform their region and their country, with starting their own business one of them.

To change this, a full Year 4-12 curriculum needs to be developed for enterprise education and entrepreneurial thinking, to promote a knowledge of how business really works, those 'so-called' soft skills that cover every industry, the capacity to creatively solve everyday problems and to prepare to be the entrepreneurs of the future. This should start with creative approaches to problem solving in primary school where the community actually puts ideas into place because we need to also show that when ideas are proposed that they need to be implemented as well. Then as students progress through school, they'll be exposed to principles around financial accounting (and personal budgeting), developing and implementing strategy, the ability to pitch and build partnerships, and also about their own local economy as well.
This has to be supported by providing existing businesses leaders an opportunity to get into schools and sustain the cycle as well. When businesses and schools are two separate silos, then of course students will not see business as a place to move into and how they can start their own. But these business owners are important, as we can't just promote entrepreneurs to create new jobs, as we need intrepreneurs to go into existing businesses and sustain them as well. Countless Australians are employed in businesses who right now are strong, but they will remain strong if new capable young people step into those businesses and keep them strong. Once the curriculum is in place, then our young people will also be able to apply for funding and properly pitch for the funds that are already out there. Often when new business areas are opened up, the funding and application process requires an existing knowledge of business so entrepreneurs struggle to get the leg up existing businesses already have - and we need to level the playing field by teaching these skills early. That way the existing funding models can be enhanced and used to go further because it's not only existing businesses getting subsidies, but new ones getting the start they need.

People submitting ideas
James McKinnon Adam Mostogl Jack Taylor Ata Mehmet adam lyle Richard Billingsley Pete Cooper Neil Glentworth Lachlan Blackhall Nicholas Howe Sarah Mortellaro Craig Davis Adrian McCallum D Haley Nicole Williamson Karen  Dado Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin Cameron Wall Jonathan D'Cruz Saskia Kelly Anthony Bishop Stephen Baxter Lorraine Chiroiu Shayne Flint Tony Rothacker