"We all know that Western Australia’s prosperity has been dominated by the agriculture and resources industry. In a globally competitive environment, though, I fear these two industries alone will not maintain our state’s economic dominance. In order for WA to continue to go from strength to strength, we must continue to diversify our economic base. With that in mind, I put to this place that we need to enable our state to become a world leader in embracing new technologies.

As at 2017, the global economy is edging ever forward towards the commercialisation of a range of new, disruptive technologies that will prove ever-challenging for governments to address. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, diversified energy generation and storage, genetic engineering, memory technology and quantum computing are just some of the areas that we know will have a substantial impact on western societies once commercialised.

Sadly, though, for all of Western Australia’s entrepreneurial spirit, governments past and present have not accommodated those emerging industries and ideas as much as I hoped we would.

We cannot expect to be competitive and leaders in the Asia–Pacific region if we still debate whether or not basic concepts like Uber and Airbnb have a place in our society.

As the youngest member of this chamber and, indeed, of the Liberal Party, I hope to frame the discussion that we should embrace, not reject, these emerging technologies.

Our state needs to have openness towards these new and disruptive ideas.

This Parliament should seek to introduce a flexible legislative environment to allow these technological advances to take hold and to flourish right here in WA.

Like every new technology, they will present challenges to the nature of our society but I am certain that with typical Western Australian zeal, we will overcome them and, in so doing, we will build an even better state and continue our dominance in the Asia–Pacific."

- Zak Kirkup MP
Extract from Inaugural Speech
Legislative Assembly, 16 May 2017