Howard elevates Coonan to ICT Ministry

Howard elevates Coonan to ICT Ministry

Summary: Australia has a new Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts after Prime Minister John Howard undertook a pre-election reshuffle this afternoon.Liberal Senator Helen Coonan has secured the promotion from the post of Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Revenue, which she assumed in November 2001.

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Australia has a new Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts after Prime Minister John Howard undertook a pre-election reshuffle this afternoon.

Liberal Senator Helen Coonan has secured the promotion from the post of Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Revenue, which she assumed in November 2001. She replaces the incumbent, Daryl Williams, who has stepped down ahead of his retirement at the forthcoming federal election.

Coonan's elevation comes one day after the federal government released its new strategic framework it claims will ensure the "ongoing development of the information economy".

Williams said in a release he had been "privileged to have held ...the interesting and diverse portfolio of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts".

However, Opposition Communications spokesperson Lindsay Tanner issued a release entitled "Coonan's can-do list" in which he said Senator Coonan could kick-start a portfolio "that Daryl Williams has allowed to languish".

Tanner said Senator Coonan should explain "how she plans to lift Australia's appalling broadband ranking of 20th in the world".

Topics: Telcos, Government, Government AU

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