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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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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.

Women make up less than 20% of startup founders in Australia. Strong levels of diversity in the types of founders participating in innovation - that being gender, culture, industry expertise, etc, etc, etc - will result in more diverse businesses, therefore greater breadth and depth in the startup ecosystem and in businesses of the future from Australia. SO how do we reduce barriers to entry for founders participating at low rates? One way to access more women overall, and more men in the 32-45 cohort, is to reduce the higher penalty for entrepreneurs/founders with children to participate in startups.
THE PROPOSAL: Founders in year one of operations can apply to access a 'startup package'. This isn't made up of handouts or grants, but tax relief at a household rather than individual level, taking into account that usually one partner is often working to 'keep the lights on' while the other is spending (the family's) savings to bootstrap the building of a business. Rather than this bootstrapping coming solely from a nest egg, savings, credit card or mortgage, certain components of this bootstrapping should be eligible to be paid from the working partner's pre-tax income in year one of the company. This aims to recognise the high costs of participation and that the family is effectively investing in future economic activity and allowing that to be paid before-tax. A key eligible cost is childcare - including long daycare and after school care. The proposed startup package is capped at the first year of operations or until the founder is taking a salary, whichever is shorter, to allow for the initial build phase of a startup, and can only be used once every five years per founder to avoid gaming.
WHY DOES THIS MAKE SENSE? The after-tax cost for parents with children under 5 yo to work on a startup full time is about $20k per year per child (two kids? $40k, three kids? $60k!! How does that kill your startup's runway?!?!) If this cost could be paid before-tax at a household level from the working partners income this would have a MASSIVE impact on the barriers for women with younger children (who have taken a natural break in their career and are incredibly well-placed in their career to found a business) to found a startup. At the moment, this is limited to parents who have a breadwinning partner who earns enough to pay for the family's cost-of-living, plus childcare, plus a full tax rate without taking into account they are effectively part-funding a not-yet-profit making new business, and investing on the future economic activity of Australia.
Other relevant benefits could be rolled into the 'startup package' target the first year of operations for startups to reduce barriers to startups, including for university students, people who have recently received redundancy payouts, etc.

It's almost impossible for small companies to compete for government work. The government spends somewhere north of $9 billion on IT and IT Services. Most of this work goes to the large consultancies. Everyone knows why:

- You have to spend up to 12 months establishing contacts
- You have to invest a lot of time into getting on a panel. - You then have to deal with poorly structured tender documents that do little to explain the task at hand. Despite this attempt at transparency and process everyone knows: - The reality is the decisions are often made before the tender is submitted. - The tender documents are often so poor that the money is made on the variations and change requests. - The government rarely sticks to the timetable of the tender. So companies often wait months to hear and outcome on something that was tendered with a fixed delivery date. Small or medium business can't compete on this work. They can't compete because they can't invest in the uncertainty that exists at every level of these tender documents. Global experience says you can get a better result using small teams of more competent programmers using open source tools and working in an agile manner. Government looks to reduce the risks by using the big 4 or 5 consultancies. That approach has traditionally only reduced the risk for procurement. No one got fired for choosing IBM. The risk of a project on time on budget has in fact gone up. Also many of these companies are not doing the work on-shore it's delivered offshore. The $9 billion PA could fuel many jobs right now. When you put money into small businesses it ends back in economy quickly. So I'm calling for a rethink of government procurement in the IT space.

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.

People submitting ideas
Giovanni Ravone Sallyann Williams Roger Lawrence Suzanne Nguyen Andrea Myles Tom Worthington Ben Barnett Jason Harrop Justin Warren Bernard Sullivan Graeme Breen Karen  Dado Michelle Vanzella Jeremy Liddle Dave Hall Ashley Brinson Mark Pesce sean harris Nick Abrahams Simon Gemmell Peter Boyce Adam Mostogl Alex Butterworth Gemma Bailey Stephen Baxter