POLITICS

Tony Abbott: 'It Is Good We're No Longer Talking About Innovation'

The former PM is happy the coalition has dropped its innovation message.

27/11/2016 9:23 AM AEDT | Updated 27/11/2016 10:32 AM AEDT
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Toby Melville / Reuters
Former PM Tony Abbott is happy innovation has dropped down the coalition agenda.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott thinks it is a good thing that the Turnbull government is no longer pushing a heavy message on innovation, saying he doesn't believe it resonates with voters.

The coalition ran with a big innovation message in the early days of the Turnbull administration after Malcolm Turnbull launched with much fanfare his government's "innovation agenda" last year.

The policy platform included incentives for start-ups, research and collaboration was a key tranche in the coalition's pre-election pitch, but was criticised in the wake of the coalition's poor showing on July 2.

Speaking on Sunday, Abbott weighed in on the issue, saying the message of innovation didn't appeal to regular voters.

"It is good we're no longer talking about innovation and agility because that frankly loses people. We have to talk about the issues that they understand. We have to put it in terms of their interests and how we are going to advance their interests," the former PM said.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann refused to be drawn directly on the comments, but said innovation remained an "important part" of the government's economic plan.

"For an open trading economy like Australia it is important that we're agile and innovative and always able to be as competitive as we possibly can be internationally. It is only one part of an overall plan," he told ABC television.

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