There is no reason WA could not diversify away from mining and expand economic activity “all the way downstream” using the abundant energy sources available in the State, WA’s chief scientist Peter Klinken says.

Speaking at Bankwest’s Digital Futures event on Monday on WA’s potential as a global tech and innovation hub, Professor Klinken said the State was perceived internally and externally as a “dig and grow economy”.

Until we recognised and celebrated our own innovation, creativity and “smarts”, it was going to be very hard to portray that internationally, he said.

He said a “groundswell” had developed over the past four years, but “at the end of the day it’s got to come down to government” setting a clear agenda on where “we’re headed”.

“Signals (from government) mean a lot in terms of the investment,” he said.

Health Engine founder Dr Marcus Tan said the reason for the tech drive was to develop a “sustainable and scaleable” economy for future generations.

The challenge was to preserve “what’s great about WA” while adopting progress. “Half the problem is that we’ve gotten a little too comfortable with our prosperity and isolation,” he said.

Although human-capital density was an important factor in achieving the goal, Dr Tan said rather than Silicon Valley in California, a better model to follow would be that of Boulder, Colorado, which had a population similar to Bunbury.

Excerpt only – read the full article at https://www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/wa-economy-back-on-track-with-first-annual-growth-for-years-20180607-p4zk0n.html

Original Article by
Gareth Costa
The West Australian

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