Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation Ed Husic has toured the Industry 4.0 Hub at the University of Wollongong's Shoalhaven Campus while selling the benefits of Labor's Startup Year program.
Mr Husic, joined by Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips, got hands on during his tour of the hub, which was launched in September 2020.
The hub creates cutting-edge technology and research for businesses, farmers and researchers in the Shoalhaven region, allowing local students, businesses and entrepreneurs access to expertise, equipment and innovation that will help them succeed.
Mr Husic said he was "excited to visit the Industry 4.0 Hub".
Labor has announced it will offer income contingent loans to 2000 final year students and/or recent graduates to support their participation in university and private accelerator programs.
"Startup Year will offer 2000 students the opportunity to be mentored by our most innovative incubators to turn their ideas into Australia's future businesses," Mr Husic said.
"We want to partner with the most innovation university incubators in the country and meeting with Industry 4.0 is very exciting.
"We need to inspire and empower an ever-greater diversity of communities and individuals to build great Australian companies that become world-leading in emerging global markets."
He said Labor's approach will grow Australia's pool of young entrepreneurs, help drive innovation and grow much-needed links between universities and the startup community, encouraging universities to draw in private sector mentors and investors.
"Startups have been shown to possess very good job creation potential - encouraging these new firms is good for the economy and job growth," he said.
"This policy harnesses the ideas and energy of young Australians and focuses on the huge potential our younger generations have to lead us into the future.
"The goal of Startup Year is to increase the number and scale of new high-growth firms that are creating economic growth, innovation, and good quality jobs for the future.
"We need to back our next generation of ideas and inspire and empower an ever-greater diversity of communities and individuals to build great Australian companies that become world-leading in emerging global markets.
"The program will bring together the most innovative young entrepreneurs, universities and other industry leaders to work in concert to increase the success of Australia's startup sector.
"Not only do startups play a key role in creating new industries and bringing new products to market they also play a critical role in job creation."
He praised local member Fiona Phillips saying she is "a great champion of local ideas and ingenuity."
"It was wonderful to welcome the Shadow Minister to the Industry to the 4.0 Hub at the University of Wollongong's Shoalhaven Campus," Mrs Phillips said.
"The work that is happening at Industry 4.0 is state of the art and will help enable businesses prepare for the future.
"It's also great to see jobs in industry innovation which in turn will help create jobs for the future.
"Labor's Startup Year policy will allow for more opportunities for people on the South Coast".