5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Photo: Getty)

It’s Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know in Aussie tech.

1. Getting to yes. With the political debate on how to deal with digital disrupters and their impact on the economy set to heat up, accommodation platform giant Airbnb have hired a bunch of lobbyists ready to massage the conversation with the Australian public. It’s a pretty smart move. You can read all about what they’re grappling with here.

2. Startup Spring is back. The StartupAUS initiative is a three-week long festival from September 10 celebrating all things startups. With events all around Australia, there will be a bunch of pitching competitions, the Run the World conference in Melbourne and Fishburners is having an open day. More here.

3. Sydney has fallen to the 16th best startup ecosystem around the world and Melbourne’s not even on the list. The 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking is live and it shows Sydney has fallen four spots to 16th best startup ecosystem around the world. Silicon Valley is, of course holding strong to the top spot. It has been three years since the last report was released. Full story and chart is here.

4. Westpac hasn’t joined the ANZ, CBA and NAB in hiking up property investor interest rates because of an IT problem. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. The bank’s “computer systems do not allow it to charge property investors and owner occupiers different interest rates.” The glitch means it’s forgoing as much as $1 million a day in extra interest income while it tries to fix the problem. More here.

5. About 40% of around 811 million transactions Australians make with the government are still completed using traditional, analogue methods like over the phone or face-to-face. It’s something communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, through his Digital Transformation Office, is starting to tackle. Moving analogue transactions like passport registrations, tax returns and benefits payments online could save the government $17.9 billion over 10-years, a Deloitte report suggests.

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