Turnbull’s obsession is a big mistake

But his obsession with innovation is a mistake, according to a US policy expert.Politicians across the world are falling for it, says Lee Vinsel. And Australia’s Prime Minister is one of the most focused.“I don’t think I’ve seen a platform as consolidated and put together as in Turnbull’s statement,” said the assistant professor from New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology.“There’s a lot of the same in the US, but it’s been put together over decades.”The idea sounds dynamic and progressive: a politician’s dream. Yet the danger of concentrating so closely on the new is that you overlook the importance of what already exists.“The current discussion of innovation tends to put a lot of emphasis on new things and the role they play in life, but most things are quite old,” says Vinsel.Roads, power grids, transport — we often need to maintain or improve what we have already, rather than generate new things.CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTUREALIENATING ORDINARY PEOPLEemma.reynolds@news.com.au