Malcolm Turnbull believes startups like Uber and Airbnb are an example to the Australian Government of how they can be “faster, leaner, more productive and more collaborative”.
Speaking at a technology conference in Sydney on Wednesday, Mr Turnbull said “the key to our future prosperity” is to “above all, be more agile” like the car and room-sharing economy startups.
The Minister for Communications said the newly-formed Digital Transformation Office “needs to be more like a startup in its attitude” in order to help the public sector.
“In seven years, Airbnb has added more than one million rooms globally compared to the century-old Hilton chain’s 700,000 hotel rooms,” he said.
Mr Turnbull said Airbnb had “added more than 10,000 rooms to Sydney’s holiday rental market, without a single brick being laid and planning permit being approved”.
Uber is an American transport company that allows ordinary people to essentially become cab drivers in their own car, while Airbnb is an online accommodation platform allowing people to rent out their spare or vacated rooms to travellers.
He said he was an advocate for the spread of sharing economy apps, calling their work an “efficient use of unused inventory”.
Turnbull explained that while 1.75 billion smartphones were used around the world, citizens might expect to be able to access information and services like Uber and Airbnb at anytime.
“Why can’t you deal with government that way?” he pondered.
It isn’t the first time the Communications Minister has weighed in on the Uber and Airbnb debate – he shared a link to this essay on the companies just last week on Twitter.
Uber, Airbnb vs Cartels and Regulators http://t.co/8msaVx2QWO
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) April 27, 2014