Former Industry and Innovation Minister Kim Carr is the major loser in Prime Minister Julia Gillard's reshuffle of the government ministry, which also saw her take on the responsibility for cybersecurity.
The cabinet reshuffle announced by Gillard in a press conference this afternoon has seen long-time Cabinet Minister Carr move from the industry and innovation portfolio to the outer ministry as minister for manufacturing and defence materiel. In his place, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet will pick up the industry and innovation portfolio.
In his time, Carr saw an overhaul of research taxation, as well as boasting about new Australian innovations and delivering grants to Australian tech companies. Carr was also responsible for the development of Australia's Square Kilometre Array bid.
The Prime Minister did not explain why Carr was moved out of his portfolio; however, media has suggested that it may be due to cabinet leaks against Gillard, as he was a strong supporter of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Nicola Roxon will now move from the massive task of implementing the government's e-health agenda as health minister to become the first female attorney-general. Roxon will replace Robert McClelland, who had been in charge of the government's cybersecurity policies, data retention and had been holding private negotiations between copyright holders and internet service providers over possible policy designed to reduce the levels of online copyright infringement in Australia.
With Roxon to be focused on the legal battle surrounding plain packaging for cigarettes, Gillard announced that the responsibility for cybersecurity, including Australia's ascension to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, will move to the Prime Minister's portfolio.
McClelland will remain a cabinet minister, in the newly created portfolio of emergency management.
In Roxon's place, former Human Services Minister Tanya Plibersek will move into cabinet as health minister, as the July 2012 deadline for personally controlled e-health records gets closer by the day.
Brendan O'Connor, who had overseen negotiations for an R18+ rating for video games in Australia and the creation of the Office of the Information Commissioner during his time as home affairs minister, will move to the human services portfolio. Former Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare will become the new home affairs minister. The attorney-general's portfolio will also swallow the privacy and freedom of information portfolios from O'Connor.
Although there had been speculation among some in the tech industry that Communications Minister Stephen Conroy may be moved to a new portfolio, following the passage of all major legislation surrounding the National Broadband Network (NBN) in the last year, Conroy will stay on as the minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy in the new Gillard ministry.
Small Business Minister Nick Sherry revealed he would step down from the role in a press conference before Gillard's announcement. The Prime Minister said that Minister for Sport Mark Arbib will take on the small business portfolio in the new ministry.