Queensland ICT Minister Robert Schwarten suffered a misstep in his election campaign today, attacking the wrong opposition spokesperson on the Liberal National Party election policy on government ICT spending cuts.
Queensland ICT Minister Robert Schwarten suffered a
mis-step in his election campaign today, attacking the wrong
opposition spokesperson on the Liberal National Party election policy on government ICT
QLD ICT Minister Robert Schwarten (Credit: Qld Govt)
Schwarten issued a statement slamming opposition leader Lawrence
Springborg and shadow Minister for Housing Affordability and Public
Works, Ray Stevens, demanding the pair explain proposed cuts to the
state government's ICT budget of $30 million.
"By taking $30 million out of ICT to pay for his unfunded,
irresponsible promises, Mr Springborg is taking a sledgehammer to
the engine of government," Schwarten said. "It's up to Mr
Stevens to stand up for the ICT industry in Queensland and stop
However, Stevens' office confirmed this afternoon that it was
actually Fiona Simpson, the shadow Minister for Infrastructure,
Main Roads and Transport, that was responsible for opposition ICT
policy. Stevens' office was planning to issue a correction on the
issue. Simpson's office has not yet responded to a request for
In a broader sense, the Minister's statement claimed the cuts
that Schwarten said Springborg had flagged would have a
"disastrous" effect on the state.
"Mr Springborg nominated ICT as the area he wanted to cut most
and as such shows his ignorance about the necessity of ICT to our
government," Schwarten wrote.
"At the moment the Queensland Government is implementing the
biggest consolidation of ICT services ever, and a cut to the ICT
spend now will compromise this and in the long run cost
The news comes as both sides of politics have come under
pressure from Queensland's ICT industry this week, with a lobby
group representing a large part of the industry placing
advertisements demanding support from both sides of politics to
boost technology jobs and the industry as a whole.
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 called the ICT Industry Workgroup.
Today the group said in a statement that 100 of the state's ICT
leaders would converge on Brisbane tomorrow to urge Premier Anna
Bligh and Springborg to commit to the industry's strategy of
creating 30,000 new ICT jobs in the state, adding to the
industry's existing 70,000-strong workforce.
The group claims the state's ICT industry has an annual
turnover of nearly $30 billion, which it claims places it at a
level of importance higher than the mining and agriculture