AIIA: Labor or Liberal? Who cares?

The future of the information and communication technology industries is not certain with a win for either the main parties vying in the up coming federal election, according to the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA). AIIA Chief Executive Officer, Rob Durie, today told ZDNet Australia  that there was no clear leader between Labor and Liberal when it came to ICT policy.

The future of the information and communication technology industries is not certain with a win for either the main parties vying in the up coming federal election, according to the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA).

AIIA Chief Executive Officer, Rob Durie, today told ZDNet Australia  that there was no clear leader between Labor and Liberal when it came to ICT policy.

"I wouldn't say that either party has a campaign approach that we'd be satisfied with," said Durie.

AIIA said following a review of the major parties' campaign policies released today that neither had outlined a "total policy platform that will ensure the future of the ICT industry in Australia".

Durie said although the AIIA was "delighted" that both parties had addressed concerns over the treatment liability and IP in government contracts, their policy promises remained vague.

"Both the Coalition and the ALP have promised strategic reviews of the industry, but without providing sufficient detail for any clear judgement to be made of the likely value," he said.

Durie added that he didn't expect any clarification before the election.

"At the moment they are only focusing on getting over the line," he said.

Durie said the AIIA would still have "a lot of work to do" with the next government regardless of who won.

The incoming minister for information technology will "face considerable challenges in formulating and implementing an effective development strategy for our industry", Durie said.

According to the AIIA, all parties still have a long way to go to improve the prospects for growing local ICT companies, raising capital, and local research and development. The industry group also earmarked share ownership issues and offshoring as areas in need of improvement.

"It is particularly disappointing that neither major party has any plans to improve share options treatment for technology start-ups or deal with our concerns around venture capital, said Durie.

The AIIA also said it had concerns about the Labor party's plan to "link procurement to industry development".

"AIIA shares the aim of improving outcomes for SMEs in the government market, but we do not believe regulation is the right approach. The Labor Party has made some very positive commitments to address liability, IP, contract size and the tender process - these initiatives will be more effective than regulation," said Durie.