Queensland's ICT industry this morning launched itself wholeheartedly into the state election, placing advertisements demanding support from both sides of politics to boost technology jobs and the industry as a whole.
(Credit: ICT Industry Workgroup)
A number of prominent IT bodies, including the Australian Computer Society, IT Gold Coast, the Australian Information Industry Association, the Australian Spatial Information Business Association, the Australian Telecommunications User Group, the IT Contract and Recruitment Association, Queensland Dot NET, Software Queensland and Women in Technology have banded together to form the lobby group ICT Industry Workgroup.
The group this morning placed full-page advertisements in major newspapers demanding Premier Anne Bligh and Liberal/National Leader Lawrence Springborg support the industry.
"We already employ 70,000 Queenslanders and with your help, we could create another 30,000 new jobs," the advertisements stated.
The group's executive officer, Paul Campbell, claimed in a statement that the ICT industry had the potential to lead the way to job creation in what he said was "today's recession".
"We can have a strategy in place within the first 100 days of the next Queensland Government to provide 100,000 jobs for Queenslanders, which includes the creation of 30,000 new jobs," he said.
"But this strategy needs the support of the Queensland Government and we're calling on Premier Bligh and Lawrence Springborg to urgently release their policies relevant to the ICT industry".
Queensland is home to a number of large technology firms, such as business technology specialists TechnologyOne and Mincom, as well as hosting development branches for international software giants like Red Hat. The state election will be held on 21 March.
Premier Bligh has at times demonstrated a strong familiarity with technology issues. For example, the politician in July last year spoke on the need for the whole-of-government chief information officer role to be beefed up. She has also previously outlined policies relating to broadband.
Peter Carr, the managing director of Queensland-based ICT analyst house Longhaus, wrote on his blog today that the ICT industry would also have a strong presence on Friday at a debate between Bligh and Springborg.
"The ICT industry will be there in force, having already purchased 10 tables and campaign T-shirts under the generic banner of a united industry. With their presence they will be demanding serious policy-based initiatives from both parties in the coming two weeks," Carr wrote.
"The organised campaign represents one of the first unified public advertisements for the industry and may lead to Queensland's own political shit-storm if the infrastructure- and economic-heavy focuses of both parties fails to grasp the significance and contribution of the industry this time around."