Appearing in Melbourne before the Senate's Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers on Tuesday, the co-founder of Atlassian warned that changes to living-away-from-home allowances and recent 457 visa changes are hurting Australia's tech industry.
'Every technology transition we have been through created more jobs that it destroyed' says Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes during The Australian Financial Review Business Summit in Sydney.
'The restrictions are suffocating our ability to become a leading innovation nation and fundamentally threatening Atlassian’s ability to remain headquartered here as much as the founders would love that to be the case,' he said.
Australia's biggest technology export is listed on New York's Nasdaq and employs 2,500 people worldwide, with 1,000 based in its home country.
Speaking to Fairfax Media after the hearing, Mr Cannon-Brookes said Atlassian had to be practical in making decisions about where its workforce is located.
'I am not trying to bribe them or threaten them into something,' he said. 'We make decisions every day on where to put this project or that project. We do make them looking at the talent we have available.'
'Technology is already the biggest industry in the world, it is now well past finance and pulling away,' Mr Cannon-Brookes told the select committee. 'We have a pretty big decision as a country if we want a seat on that rocketship or not. Do we want to be a primary manufacturer of technology or not?'
Mr Cannon-Brookes said Australia generates about 1 per cent of the world's gross domestic product and to continue our wealth and prosperity it needs to be a primary producer of 1 per cent of the world's technology.
'We are not even close to that today,' he said.
'Blacksmiths of the future'
Mr Cannon- Brookes said the future of work is changing quickly in Australia.
'There will be massive job disruption,' he said. 'I kind of hate being Chicken Little and trying to scare people but it seems to be the only way.'
Mr Cannon-Brookes said driverless cars are already on the road in the United States and will revolutionise Australia's transport sector, with drivers set to be 'the blacksmiths of the future'.
'I have four kids, I dont believe that any of them will ever learn to drive a car - and my oldest kid has just turned seven,' he said.