Tech savvy and distrusting millennials, people born between 1980 and 2000, will not tolerate governments that still inhabit an analogue world, NSW finance minister, Dominic Perrottet, said in his opening CeBIT keynote speech on Tuesday morning.
Perrottet told attendees that millennials simply don’t have the patience for inefficient and stodgy institutions, which include many governments in Australia.
He said research due to be released in July by Deloitte Access Economics around digital government in Australia estimates that there are around 10,000 paper forms in the NSW government alone.
“If one of those forms is submitted around 300,000 times, the cost of data entry, scanning, filing and storing could be up to $12 million."
Perrottet said the researchers estimate that the NSW government spends around $50 million on postage each year, it sends out 1.8 million cheques, and 80 per cent of its advertisements are still printed in newspapers.
“Until very recently, I found out we were still employing people whose job it was to fold stuff and manually seal thousands of envelopes,” he said.
Political parties are also behind the pack, he said, referring to his own Liberal Party where politicians often complain that youth are disengaged.
“But if you head over to our website and try to join [the party] … you are presented with a form you have to print out, fill in the details, sign and then mail back in,” he said.
“For a generation whose primary form of exercise these days is swiping left or swiping right, they are simply not going to bother.”
The complex web of legislation also administered by governments did not anticipate the invention of the computer, the internet, big data or the challenges that they pose for privacy and security, minister Perottet said.
The entrepreneurial nature of millennials means that they are likely to have little time for burdensome crowd funding regulations that hinders the flow if capitalist startups, he added.
Governments are also over-regulating and over-taxing new business models such as Uber and Airbnb because they simply don’t understand them.
“This fundamentally misunderstands the profound shift in society around ideas of ownership, sustainability, and consumption,” he said.
“Increasingly people are choosing rentership over ownership. It is now time to have a real conversation into how we better integrate these peer to peer companies into the mainstream economy.”
Perrottet said it makes little sense for governments to be preaching sustainability while trying to suppress companies that promote better utilisation of existing assets like cars, housing or parking spots,” he said.
“As a recent study shows, the Internet only developed into what it is today because of a light regulatory touch initially shown by governments. That same approach is now needed for the sharing economy.”
Finally, Perrottet said that millennials will not accept disjointed government agencies that operate in silos, constantly asking them for the same information multiple times.
He said having an overwhelmingly, digital literate workforce for the first time will change the game and millennials will destroy and scatter the elements of the old silos.
“[They will] reassemble them in ways that make sense for them and the new century.”
Follow Byron Connolly on Twitter:@ByronConnolly