Welcoming Address CEBIT Australia 2014



06 May 2014

ANZ Stadium, Millennium Room

Well, thank you, Jackie, and to the special guests and to all of you who are visiting, particularly from overseas, and those of you from across Australia, thank you so much. I promise I won't hold you from the bar for too long. It is a great privilege to be here tonight representing the Prime Minister particularly, who sends his apologies, but sends his best wishes for a successful conference over the next four days.

The Australian Government is very pleased to support this event. It's a very significant event; it's a very important event for the future of our economy. The Australian story over the last 30 years has been similar to the global story—a rapidly changing economic environment, a rapidly changing business environment, a rapidly changing way of life. Thirty years ago, Australia was a closed economy. Australia hadn't floated its exchange rate. It had industries which were supported heavily by the government. Thirty years later—and no longer does the Australian Government hand out cheques or act as an ATM of last resort for businesses—it invests in the opportunities for all of you, particularly the start-ups which we’ve had the great privilege to walk down start-up alley in the conference hall today and see innovators who've got the next idea.

And in the modern world, where ideas are moving quicker than you can imagine, where you couldn't believe just a decade ago that an idea in a frat house in Stanford would become the biggest global community in the world just a decade later. It shows that you have to move quickly, and the government's role is to create the circumstances for you all to be as successful as possible. Not to choose which one of you will be successful, it is to create the circumstances for you to be as successful as possible. Because if you're successful, then our country is successful and we are more prosperous.

So we are pursuing an agenda to make it easier for you to succeed. We are removing unnecessary regulation, we are making it easier for you to operate your business; we are trying to get rid of unnecessary taxes to make it cheaper for you to operate your business; we are building infrastructure so you can operate your business more effectively and productively. But most of all, we are creating a better international trading environment, with free trade agreements in recent times with Korea and Japan and hopefully, soon enough, China, which will mean that we can export the many skills that are in this audience, the great opportunities that we come up with in this audience.

That is the agenda of this Australian Government, and we're so glad to see so many of you here, locally grown and internationally imported for this conference and this occasion, getting together, collaborating, coming up with the opportunities of the 21st century.

I wish you all the best. The Australian Government wishes you the best. Enjoy tonight, enjoy some great quality Australian wine and beer, but not too much because it's a hectic schedule tomorrow and Wednesday. So thank you very much.