New Tas IT minister: Bartlett swaps roles

New Tas IT minister: Bartlett swaps roles

Summary: The fallout of now ex-Premier David Bartlett's resignation continues to shake up the Tasmanian State Government as he is no longer in charge of the Information, Science and Technology (IST) portfolio.

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The fallout of now ex-Premier David Bartlett's resignation continues to shake up the Tasmanian State Government as he is no longer in charge of the Information, Science and Technology (IST) portfolio.

Following Premier Lara Giddings swearing in yesterday, it was announced that Bartlett would be stepping into a position as the state's attorney-general and minister for Justice, putting David O'Byrne in charge of the IST ministry.

"David Bartlett has agreed to serve as attorney-general and minister for Justice, and David O'Byrne will add Innovation, Science and Technology to his existing portfolios, while all other portfolios will remain unchanged," Giddings said in a statement yesterday.

The reshuffle comes as a blow to some, with consumer action group Digital Tasmania hoping that Bartlett would remain in the portfolio to provide vital knowledge and experience to Tasmanian IT roll-outs including the National Broadband Network (NBN) project and smart grid pilots.

"We hope [Giddings] continues along the same path that the state government has been going with and the NBN is definitely a key part of that that's going to lift the ability of Tasmanians to get on that even playing field," Connor said.

Connor told ZDNet Australia that Digital Tasmania will be seeking a meeting with David O'Byrne to re-iterate the action group's position coming into the new phase of government.

O'Byrne joined the Tasmanian State Government following the 2010 elections as Member for Franklin. An ex-union crusader, O'Byrne graduated with a degree in Labour Studies from the University of Adelaide, before moving to Hobart in 1994. O'Byrne has held positions including the secretary and vice president of the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union. His previous campaigns for social justice have centred around better pay and working conditions for childcare, casino and cleaning workers, playing a key role in the "Your Rights at Work" campaign.

Ex-Premier Bartlett announced over the weekend via Facebook that he would step down as premier to spend more time with his family, adding that he is proud of his technology achievements for the state, such as the roll-out of the NBN.

"To all my Facebook friends and contributors. I have decided to step down as premier and leader of the Labor Party. Working seven days a week and wanting to be a better father for Hudson and Matilda has become incompatible as the children are growing up," Bartlett told the Facebook faithful on Sunday.

O'Byrne also took to Facebook, yesterday throwing his full support behind Tasmania's first female premier in Lara Giddings, and new Deputy Premier Bryan Green.

Topics: Government, Government AU

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

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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  • Only in politics does 'Jack of all trades, master of none' rings very true!
    Vasso Massonic