Labor swaps Defence and Communications in shadow ministry

Summary:Stephen Conroy's experience in holding the communications portfolio will instead be used to oversee Defence.

The Australian Labor party has announced the appointment of its shadow ministers, including Jason Clare and Stephen Conroy in the Defence and Communications portfolios, but not necessarily in that order.

The shadow ministry for the 44th Parliament sees Conroy adopt the shadow Defence portfolio and as the deputy leader of the opposition in the Senate. Conroy had previously been the minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, replaced for a short period by Anthony Albanese when former prime minister Julia Gillard was ousted from the position by Kevin Rudd. In response to the change in leadersihp, Conroy resigned from his post.

Clare will take up the shadow Communications role — a departure from his former appointments to parliament as Defence Materiel minister. It will be the first time that he will take up a technology-related portfolio, having only overseen the ministries of Defence, Justice and Home Affairs.

He also does not come from an IT background, holding degrees in Arts and Law.

Assisting Clare will be Michelle Rowland. Rowland too, has a degree in Arts and a masters in Law.

Also not returning to the Communications portfolio is former parliamentary secretary for broadband Ed Husic. Husic was previously held responsible for helping sell the National Broadband Network to the public under Albanese in a Rudd government. With the Coalition in power, Husic is the shadow parliamentary secretary, but for the shadow Treasurer.

Kate Lundy, who does have a background in IT and technology, has not been appointed to any portfolio in the shadow ministry.

Topics: Government, Australia, Government : AU, NBN

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A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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