Axed govt IT staff will find new job: AIIA

Summary:Chief executive officer of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) Ian Birks believes that if the newly installed NSW Government intends to axe IT workers, those culled will land on their feet in the private sector.

Chief executive officer of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) Ian Birks believes that if the newly installed NSW Government intends to axe IT workers, those culled will land on their feet in the private sector.

Premier Barry O'Farrell

Premier Barry O'Farrell(Barry O'Farrell image by Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW, CC BY 2.0)

Former NSW Labor Premier Kristina Keneally had guaranteed the jobs of the 5729 IT workers in the state's public sector going into Saturday's state election. This promise came after the Coalition promised to cut down duplication of IT between agencies.

Birks told ZDNet Australia today that staff ditched by the state ICT re-shuffle will most likely end up in the private sector.

"Work that's done in-house tends to get done by contractors and third-parties … lost jobs are likely to be picked up by the private sector," Birks said.

Without the full details of the new government's plans, however, Birks said that it was tough to go into more detail.

Birks added that the AIIA is today writing a letter to Barry O'Farrell to request a meeting in his new role as NSW state premier, adding that it wasn't the first communication between the two.

"We're writing to him today to request a meeting but we have been in quite good touch with them while in opposition, so we feel they've had a chance to understand where we're coming from, but now that they're in implementation mode we'll seek to work with [the government] on specific projects and requirements," Birks said.

The AIIA hopes to work with the new government to make the state's ICT industry the key to delivering on infrastructure and service-delivery promises.

"On behalf of the ICT industry, we look forward to working with the [Coalition] Government. We'll be urging them to make ICT a central plank of their reform agenda," Birks said.

"There's opportunity for ICT to play a leadership role in what [the government is] trying to address, like some of the infrastructure challenges. Smart infrastructure could be a real advantage when you look at transport and infrastructure, there's some great tech to improve service delivery," he added.

The AIIA will also urge the new government to recognise the value of ubiquitous, high-speed broadband roll-outs, like the National Broadband Network (NBN).

"I think we can take it as granted that ubiquitous high speed broadband is coming to Australia. Whether it's the NBN or some alternative strategy, it's essentially going to happen. State and territory governments should be planning to take advantage of that for their local economies," Birks said.

Barry O'Farrell was sworn in as the new premier of NSW after the Liberal-National coalition walked away with a landslide election win on Saturday night.

CSC weighs in

Technology services company CSC Australia also weighed in on the O'Farrell victory, saying that the win is set to bring new opportunities to the state's e-health sector, procurement methods and public transport models.

"We look forward to working with the new NSW Coalition Government. Policy announcements prior to the election show great promise for a more transparent procurement model and smarter investments in technology to help the citizens of NSW," said CSC Australia's president and CEO, Gavin Larkings.

Lisa Pettigrew, CSC's national director for health services, said that the Coalition's health election pledges are particularly "promising" for NSW.

"We applaud the announcement of the $2 million investment in the establishment of a Telehealth Technology Centre at Nepean Hospital and we encourage the new NSW Government to embrace the [Council of Australiann Governments] and Federal Government's plans for personally controlled electronic health records available for all Australians," she added.

Topics: Government, Government : AU

About

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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