Conroy: I’ll support an IT minister

Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, supports the concept of an IT minister based on industry demands

Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has acknowledged industry concerns about the lack of an IT Minister and said he’d support its establishment.

Conroy was speaking at a WA Australian Computer Society event in Perth about the National Broadband Network when he made the comments in response to a journalist’s question.

He added to them in a one-on-one interview with ARN.

His support comes after ACS CEO, Bruce Lakin, gave the Government a ‘fail’ mark for its lack of coordination and care for the IT industry in Australia.

“Depending on exactly what kind of business you’re working in, you have to pick between anything up to six different ministers,” Conroy said. “I can understand the frustration there.

“But, ultimately, portfolio distribution is the Prime Minister’s prerogative,” he said. “If she came to me and said ‘what do you think of this idea?’ I’d say it’s a good idea.”

When asked if former shadow IT minister, Senator Kate Lundy, would be a suitable candidate Conroy said he would not push Gillard to appoint a new IT minister while emphasising her qualities.

“I work very closely with Kate,” he said. “Obviously, we have a difference of opinion on [mandatory filtering], but we work very closely together.

“Kate and I have known each other since she was 16 because we both grew up in the ACT, so I have a high regard for Kate’s abilities.”