The sudden departure of Finance and Deregulation Minister, Lindsay Tanner, will have a major impact on the Australian tech industry, according to Ovum analyst, Kevin Noonan.
Tanner’s surprise decision to leave politics was reportedly unrelated to the political upheaval that saw Julia Gillard replace Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister.
“Lindsay Tanner will be sorely missed in the industry,” he said. “From either side of politics he has been an excellent advocate for IT issues and has brought a strong strategic approach to the directions of IT.
“We’re looking at a couple of voids here. There were a number of shoes he occupied – not only was be an able Finance Minister, but he also had time for IT issues.
“There would be people in each of those areas, but it would be very difficult to find somebody who satisfy the mix he occupied.”
According to Government Senator, Kate Lundy, the move was a surprise to her and would have a major impact on the IT industry.
"It's a surprise to me. I think he'll be a great loss to the Parliament," she said. "He's been a wonderful advocate for the role that technology plays in our lives and particularly recently with his enthusiastic advocacy for Gov 2.0.
"[His personal input] was important for Government IT initiatives because he understood the important role that IT plays in the core business of Government."
Tanner had steered the Government through a number of major initiatives that were initiated through the Gershon Review.
Earlier this year he released the Government’s 15-year datacentre plan to consolidate the number of providers. He also pushed through a whole-of-government ICT strategic workforce plan that aimed slash IT contractor numbers while boosting fulltime employement.
Although the move caused significant job losses in Canberra amongst IT workers, it was largely seen as a necessary measure to cut budgetary fat with the funds later reinvested as part of the Budget.
"I think he was a much-respected Minister both for his strength of argument and for his intellect," Noonan said.