Paul Fletcher MP

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In any country with a successful technology sector, the role of start-up companies is critical. Australia has its own start-up success stories. Atlassian was founded by Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes in 2001; today it employs more than 1000 people, more than half of them in Sydney.

For many years one of the iconic Australian images has been children on remote properties doing their schooling over two-way radio.

If we want to build a strong technology sector in Australia, we need a strong start-up culture.

As the world marks ‘Safer Internet Day’ this week under the banner of ‘Let's create a better internet together’, the Abbott Government is preparing to debate the ‘Enhancing Online Safety for Children Bill’ in Parliament.

The case for this legislation is strong.

One in five young Australians aged 8 to 17 has experienced cyberbullying, according to research from a consortium led by UNSW’s Social Policy Research Centre.

At over 60 community meetings in 38 regional and remote electorates around Australia in the past 15 months, I have heard a very clear message: people living in these areas want better mobile coverage.

From Mareeba in far north Queensland to Elliston on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia; from Manjimup in south-west Western Australia to Bega in southern NSW; from Gunns Plains in Tasmania to the Wartook Valley in western Victoria, people have explained to me why this is so important.

We are living through an age of unprecedented technological change, and this has profound implications for communications policy in Australia.

To start with, I will review some indicators that we are undergoing unprecedented change; next I will point out how this is challenging many of the assumptions which have underpinned communications policy in Australia; and thirdly I will suggest some principles of policy making to deal with such change.

Why should Australian policymakers care about crowdfunding – the use of the internet to raise funds for new projects or business ventures, often involving relatively small amounts raised from large numbers of people?

One reason is that other countries are establishing streamlined regulatory regimes to permit crowdfunding – removing or simplifying the normal prospectus requirements which would otherwise impede or prevent its occurrence.  For example, New Zealand legalised crowdfunding in April and other countries like the US, UK and Canada have recently changed their laws to permit it.[1]

Last year one in five young Australians aged eight to 17 faced cyberbullying, according to recent research led by the University of New South Wale's Social Policy Research Centre.

Nearly three quarters of Australian schools reported incidents of cyberbullying.

None of this is news to the many Australian families that have been touched by cyberbullying.

They already know what the research confirmed: cyberbullying can be very serious and its consequences can be more far-reaching than bullying in the schoolyard. 

Published in the Daily Telegraph, 27/10/2014

WHEN Sydneysiders today travel over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or on the underground rail loop in central Sydney, or on the electric train network which serves the Sydney metropolitan area, how many pause to think about the man we have to thank for these things?

Dr JJC Bradfield was a visionary Australian engineer who worked with enormous energy and vision to build the infrastructure which he foresaw that Sydney would need as it grew.

The scale of today’s digital transformation is comparable to the Industrial Revolution – and maximizing the potential of disruptive ICT technologies isn’t just a priority for businesses, but for governments and societies too. In an exclusive opinion piece, Australian MP Paul Fletcher gives an insider’s view on the digital revolution and offers policy makers three clear principles for transformation success.

Authorised by Paul Fletcher MP, Level 2, 280 Pacific Highway Lindfield NSW 2070.

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