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Sunday, 12 September 2010 08:42

Conroy keeps Comms, Lundy advises PM


In a major boost for the sector, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard has signalled a hands-on role for herself in fostering "digital productivity," and appointed Stephen Conroy and Kate Lundy to assist her in the role.

As expected, Senator Conroy retains the Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy portfolio in the Gillard Government's new Ministry, and has been given an additional role as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity.

Kate Lundy has been given a well-earned promotion, appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary to Immigration and Citizenship, and Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Penny Wong has been appointed to fill the impressively large shoes of Lindsay Tanner in the tech-heavy Finance portfolio. Kim Carr retains the Innovation, Industry and Science portfolio and will continue to administer broader industry development for the IT sector.

Other Cabinet positions include: Wayne Swan retains the Treasury portfolio, with Kevin Rudd as Foreign Minister with Stephen Smith moving to Defence; Robert McClelland remains as Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon in Health where she will oversee one of the largest federal IT projects of the next three years as part of the eHealth strategy, and Chris Evans in Jobs, Skills, and Workplace Relations. Anthony Albanese retains infrastructure.

The shape of the new front-bench puts delivery of the National Broadband Network and the benefits it can deliver at the top of the Government's agenda for this Parliament.

Senator Conroy's promotion is a endorsement of his handling of the NBN and recognition of his enthusiasm for the sector. It expands his influence across portfolios to develop strategies to maximise the benefits of the Government's broadband investment in areas like health and education.

Ms Gillard said in his capacity as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister, Senator Conroy will be "working to maximise what the broadband network can deliver in those service delivery areas."

Senator Lundy's promotion is good news for the tech sector. Her ongoing interest in and advocacy for the IT sector is well-placed in her role with PM&C. It is also good news for the Gov 2.0 movement and in Open Government generally.

But she is also well placed to advice on tech sector industry development issues, a personal passion of the senator.

The complete Cabinet, Outer Ministry and Parliamentary Secretaries appointments can be found here.


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