Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, gets promoted with more responsibilities

Communications Minister to take on whole-of-government role to ‘maximise what the broadband network can deliver’ as Senator Kate Lundy gets cabinet role

Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has retained his position in the Gillard Government’s cabinet with an increase in responsibility. Former shadow IT minister, Senator Kate Lundy, has also gained a place in the cabinet.

Former Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator Penny Wong, has been picked as the next Finance Minister to replace Lindsay Tanner.

The announcement was made around midday by Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, at a press conference in Canberra. She said Conroy would continue his role with the additional task of a whole-of-government tech role.

“Stephen Conroy will continue with his special responsibilities including the responsibility for broadband,” Gillard said. “But we will build on that with Steve Conroy also serving as a minister assisting me across the whole of Government, whether it’s health, whether it’s education, whether it’s any part of Government.

“We are working to maximise what the broadband network can deliver in those service delivery areas.”

The move is in line with Conroy’s comments to support a minister with whole of Government responsibilities for technology. Although there is no dedicated IT minister, Conroy is expected to advise Gillard on a range of tech issues across all portfolios.

The appointment of Wong to the Finance Minister position means she will take on responsibility for the Gershon review and its sweeping effects on Government ICT procurement and employment.

Former shadow IT minister, Senator Kate Lundy, has also been appointed to the role of Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Citizenship as well as Prime Minister and Cabinet. This will give her more access to the Prime Minister as well as more responsibilities.

Lundy told ARN she was very excited with the appointment and would continue to push for a new IT minister position.

"[The Prime Minister] has a very clear understanding of my committment to IT and I think that's one of the reasons that she's appointed me as her parliamentary secretary," she said "I think it's a very important insight into the status the Prime Minister gives to Communications and IT that she's wanting a closer association with the Portfolios.

"I think it's very good news for IT, for broadband, for what we're going to achieve as a nation online. It's great news all round."

Penny Wong's rumoured move from the climate change portfolio to Minister for Finance and Deregulation went ahead, Kevin Rudd got Foreign Affairs, and the man he replaces, Stephen Smith, moves into Senator John Faulkner's old job as Minister for Defence.

The cabinet is expected to be sworn in by Tuesday, September 14, at the very latest.

The full Cabinet line-up is:

  • Julia Gillard, Prime Minister
  • Wayne Swan, Deputy Prime Minister, Treasurer
  • Kevin Rudd, Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Chris Evans, Minister for Jobs, Skills and Workplace Relations
  • Simon Crean, Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Minister for the Arts
  • Stephen Smith, Minister for Defence
  • Nicola Roxon, Minister for Health and Ageing
  • Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
  • Anthony Albanese, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
  • Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity
  • Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science
  • Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation
  • Greg Combet, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
  • Peter Garrett, Minister for Schools, Early Childhood and Youth
  • Robert McClelland, Attorney-General
  • Joseph Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Tony Burke, Minister for Sustainable Population, Communities, Environment and Water
  • Martin Ferguson, Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism
  • Chris Bowen, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship
  • Craig Emerson, Minister for Trade

Outer Ministry

  • Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Human Services, Minister for Social Inclusion
  • Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, Minister for Privacy and FOI
  • Kate Ellis, Minister for Employment Participation and Childcare
  • Mark Butler, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
  • Gary Gray, Special Minister of State
  • Jason Clare, Minister for Defence Material
  • Mark Arbib,, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development Minister for Sport Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness
  • Nick Sherry Minister for Small Business, Minister Assisting the Minister for Tourism
  • Warren Snowdon, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Science and Personnel
  • Bill Shorten, Assistant Treasurer Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation

Parliamentary Secretaries

  • David Bradbury, Treasury
  • Jacinta Collins Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Julie Collins Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
  • Mark Dreyfus, Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Cabinet Secretary
  • Justine Elliot, Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Don Farrell, Sustainable Population, Communities, Environment and Water
  • David Feeney, Defence
  • Mike Kelly, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Catherine King, Health and Ageing, Infrastructure and Transport
  • Kate Lundy, Immigration and Citizenship, Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Richard Marles, Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Jan McLucas, Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

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Richard Ure


It is the be hoped Senator Conroy improves his skills in selling the advantages of broadband than has been evident so far; there are still a large number of people needing enthusing.

Even $1 billion (let alone more) is a large price to pay to save a little on one's dishwashing electricity bills.



Senator Conroy? The end of the virtual world is nigh!



"Kevin Rudd got Foreign Affairs - no surprises there, and the man he replaces, Senator Stephen Smith, moves into Linday (sic) Tanner's old job as Minister for Defence."

Really? Stephen Smith does indeed move to Defence however this is the portfolio previously held by John Faulkner who moves to the backbench. Lidsay Tanner retired whilst Finance Minister, a position to taken up by Senator Penny Wong.

Blue Ticker


So you give more responsibilities to a minister that misses deadlines, squanders public money and implements a filter that goes against Human Rights.

He's only met the first milestone, after 3 years, whats expected in two months.



He must have done some serious kissing on Gillards fat butt.

The guy admits he can't even change a password.



Perhaps he had to in your filter-dominated fantasy world.

Here in the real world he did a damn good job of progressing the NBN and has been rewarded for it. His job was never on the line.



He should of been promoted to assistant coffee fetcher.



Clearly, Julia Gillard is a very stupid person to rely on Conroy for technical advice. She has lost any last scrap of credibility she had with me, and I think with the entire technical community.

Stephen Conroy is a complete joke, he refuses to meet with any technical experts, he has equal technical capabilities with Tony Abbott, except Abbot has the honest to admit that he has no idea.

I'm a senior network engineer with over 10 years experience, I have made many attempts to connect wtih Conroy, he refuses to speak with any technical experts, the only people he meets with is the Australian Chrisitan Lobby for his 'technical' advice.



Wow, you're a senior network engineer with over 10 years experience! Well that certainly qualifies you to... ah... draw pretty network diagrams?

I can see why Conroy would want to keep away from self-important twits like you. He has a job to do.

What makes you think anyone goes to Conroy for technical advice? They have staff and consultants for that sort of thing. What makes you think that they need your advice? They're doing very well so far.



Jeremy, what a load of bollocks, bordering on lies... He has more people with more technical expertise than yourself in the areas he needs than you seem to be able to comprehend.

Do you really suggest the NBN is being put together by bakers and dentists, or are you the only experienced network engineer on the planet?

Or do you really suggest that the whole world, and their own existence, rotates on that little circle, as you seem to do, called Filter....? Pretty narrow perspective on the scope of Australia and the world Jeremy.

He has little interest in meeting or connecting with people who are quickly identified as only wanting an opportunity to rant, who define Gillard as a very stupid person and who believe they represent the entire technical community...

What was your considered approach to connect:

"Mr Conjob, I think you are a complete joke and Ms Gillard is very stupid. Can we connect so that I can advise you on technical matters?"

That would work like a charm...



What scares me the most that some people trust Gillard and Conroy?



Doesn't matter who you pick, you always get screwed one way or another.

Anyway, the NBN will make the new world order easier to administer.Everyone online, all activities monitored and censored accordingly. What more could our dictators want...?



nutjob & Eloquent. Sorry but I think that Jeremy should have more right to have the ear of the communications minister than some christian extremist so he has a point.



the fact that this man still has his job shows you just how out of touch gillard is already



nutjob and Eloquent, I suggest you relocate to America.


It's quite obvious Conroy has a very limited personal understanding of the field he heads and therefor his beliefs regarding the feasibility of this silly "firewall" can be attributed to his technical advisors themselves (hence the lack of an argument from the two peanuts)

In my opinion as a systems programmer (I write software that directly controls hardware) this firewall idea is utterly absurd both in regards to it's ability to solve the problem itself -- it can be easily circumvented -- and certainly is not practical in regards to the implementation without creating a bottleneck that will suffocate our already dark-age network infastructure (even with the NBN, we are still a long, long way behind)

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