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Qld IT Minister quits

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Release of state ICT audit report and new strategy thrown into further uncertainty.

Despite plenty of attempts question time has ended in state parliament without Labor landing any direct hits on Ros Bates. The controversial Minister for Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts was peppered with questions by the opposition during the first question time of the year.

Despite plenty of attempts question time has ended in state parliament without Labor landing any direct hits on Ros Bates. The controversial Minister for Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts was peppered with questions by the opposition during the first question time of the year. Photo: Harrison Saragossi/File Photo

Queensland's troubled Arts and IT Minister, Ros Bates, has resigned from cabinet, Premier Campbell Newman announced on Friday.

Mr Newman said Ms Bates had "done an outstanding job under difficult circumstances".

"Unfortunately the demanding role has taken a toll personally and on her health, and she had decided not to risk those issues impacting on the performance of her duties," he said.

"I commend her for her decision. She has done the right thing by her family, her constituents and the government."

Comment was sought from Ms Bates, but a spokeswoman said she would not comment on the matter.

When she became IT Minister, Ms Bates promptly met senior IT industry figures to discuss a slowdown in IT expenditure and gather advice from industry associations, businesses and vendors.

She later announced a $5.21 million ICT audit and a long to-do list before her department could undertake a major sweep of the state's technology infrastructure and expenditure.

It was to report on how ICT was used across 19 departments and where savings could be made.

The audit team of 32 public servants was to present its findings in October, and a new ICT strategy was to be developed following the results of the audit.

In September, Ms Bates said the Queensland government could not afford the up to $6 billion the interim audit report said was needed to fix outdated IT systems.

The 2013 year started with uncertainly for the technology sector in Queensland as delays plagued the release of the audit report and contractors remained in limbo.

Last month, Ms Bates said she "was not going anywhere".

In defending taking a family holiday in December after sick leave, Ms Bates said she was the "captain of the ship and the ship still sails".

The chairman of the Queensland branch of the Australian Information Industries Association (AIIA). Simon Kaplan. said the industry's chief concern was ensuring the release of the ICT audit findings was not further delayed.

Ms Bates was due to speak about the audit and the government's plans at the AIIA's monthly lunch on Friday, February 22, but it is not known whether a replacement will step into the breach.

An industry source who asked to remain anonymous said: "The Minister came back with great intentions to sort everything out at the start of January and I get the impression that 'time' had moved on while she was away and she wasn't able to form nor articulate a clear direction of what needed to happen next."

A date has not been set for the release of the ICT audit report.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek will act in Ms Bates' role until a replacement is found.

Ms Bates is the third casualty from the first Newman cabinet, following the resignations of police minister David Gibson last April and housing minister Bruce Flegg in November.

- with AAP, Sylvia Pennington

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11 comments

  • Good....she wasn't much good anyway.....hopefully, a few more will follow....but it is Queensland....dumb politics place

    Commenter
    ChrisY
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    February 15, 2013, 4:15PM
    • If the Government keeps shedding members as it has done to date it will end up a one man band again as it was under Joh the peanut.

      Commenter
      fred
      Date and time
      February 15, 2013, 5:44PM
  • Hopefully this will now end the compulsory IT outsourcing nonsense.

    Commenter
    Mike
    Date and time
    February 15, 2013, 4:18PM
    • Doubtful Mike; even when experts indicate that there are no overall savings by outsourcing ICT, this government is hell bent on reducing the number of public servants.

      Now waiting for the ICT audit to be made public (unless I missed it?)

      Commenter
      Quasimofoso
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      February 15, 2013, 6:09PM
    • No, it's LNP dogma that their key supporters should be allowed to make money out of the public purse. Outsourcing is meant to save money, but the waste is not in the delivery of IT services, it is in the procurement strategy.
      Too often government buys rubbish and pays too much for it. Outsourcing will just be another service that will be rubbish and the government will pay too much for it.

      Commenter
      Peter of Brisbane
      Date and time
      February 16, 2013, 6:11AM
    • The3 reason for out sourcing is not that it is better but it provides many of the LNP supporters with a trough to put their snouts in! Out sourcing in government departments of IT has been a disaster both in state and federal governments in this country. Think IBM and the health payrol debacle.

      Commenter
      Pollyho
      Date and time
      February 16, 2013, 11:13AM
  • The concept of having an IT minister or department in Queensland is preposterous. Queensland has been denied any up to date technological advances from the year dot until now. The entire state is in a time warp.

    Commenter
    Asianplumb.
    Location
    Melbourne.
    Date and time
    February 15, 2013, 6:32PM
    • Where are the headlines about a government in turmoil! 3 ministers and some senior seat warmers in 1 year .. !!!

      Commenter
      Lucy
      Date and time
      February 15, 2013, 6:38PM
      • IT is such a critical area of government administration that to leave multi-billion dollar decisions in the hands of somebody so inexpert, so unable to manage decisions and vulnerable to lobbying was opening up Campbell to even bigger calamities in the future.

        She had to go!

        Commenter
        Ken of Brisbane
        Date and time
        February 16, 2013, 1:57AM
        • She was never on top of her portfolio in IT anyway. Her statement that all the IT stuff had to be replaced in 5 years says it all! Most IT stuff has to be replaced in 5 years anyway.

          Commenter
          Pollyho
          Date and time
          February 16, 2013, 11:15AM

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