Gig Guide: Qld gets a new digital minister

Brandon How

Queensland’s Digital Economy minister Leeanne Enoch lost oversight of the portfolio in Thursday’s Cabinet reshuffle, with the state government’s digital duties now the responsibility of Mark Bailey.

Mr Bailey, who has spent more than five years as Transport and Main Roads minister, is already overseeing the rollout of the state’s digital driver’s licence app, as well as the state’s next-generation public transport ticketing system.

Ms Enoch gained responsibility for the Digital Economy portfolio in 2015 and also previously held the Science and Innovation portfolios between 2015 and 2020.

At the end of April, Ms Enoch unveiled the the government’s long-delayed Digital Economy Strategy, which proposes the creation of a new Digital Economy Program Office as she launched a strategy and action plan.

In the reshuffle, Ms Enoch became Treaty minister and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships minister, while responsibility for the Housing portfolio transferred to Meaghan Scanlon.

Ms Scanlon will pass responsibility for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef portfolio to Science minister Leanne Linard.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Cabinet ‘refresh’ “marks a new beginning” and is to ensure there is a “critical focus on shaping a better and fairer Queensland, now and for the future”.

Queensland’s Minister for Transport and Minister for the Digital Economy Mark Bailey. Image: Twitter

The embattled former Coalition minister Stuart Robert has formerly resigned from federal politics. This will trigger a by-election in his Queensland electorate of Fadden, although a date is still being determined.

Mr Robert has been under fire for his connection to Robodebt during his time as human services minister, including making public statements he believed to be “false” because of “cabinet solidarity”, and an alleged lobbying scandal relating to procurement contracts at Services Australia and the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Sydney-based quantum computing firm Q-CTRL has appointed Dr Dave Kieplinski as its Principal Quantum Control Scientist. Dr Kieplinski has spent the last 25 years leading research in quantum computing and machine learning. Between 2006 and 2015, he was the founding director of the Australian Attosecond Science Facility at Griffith University.

The chief economist of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) Jarrod Ball will leave the role after five and a half years. He joins the board of the Australian Energy Regulator this week. Prior to joining CEDA, Mr Ball worked for the Business Council of Australia.

The New South Wales opposition appointed its shadow cabinet earlier this month, as reported by The shadow Customer Service and Digital Government role was handed to former startup founder and consultant James Griffin, with former NSW Industry and Innovation minister Alister Henskens becoming shadow Attorney General. Mark Coure is now overseeing the shadow Innovation portfolio.

CSIRO also announced the appointment of its new energy director Dr Dietmar Tourbier earlier this month. He previously spent two-and-a-half years as deputy director and was the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute director prior to that. Before joining CSIRO, Dr Tourbier spent 20 years at General Electric in leadership roles through its global research organisation.

At the federal Department of Industry, Science and Resources, William Tan was appointed general manager of National Reconstruction Fund priorities. He was previously acting in the role. Casey Millward was also appointed general manager for resources strategy at the department.

Last week, Jocelyn Cooper was appointed to a general manager position in the Industry department, moving from Treasury.

The new chief executive of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia is Luke Achterstraat, who previously served as the NSW executive director of the Property Council of Australia. He was also chair of the NSW government’s expert housing advisory panel and previously held advisory roles on Trade and Investment.

Australian Workers Union national secretary Daniel Walton announced his resignation last week after 15 years. He will remain at the union to manage the internal transition before departing in mid-June.

Two assistant commissioners were appointed at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Andre Castaldi and Sarah Ghali will both oversee regulation and strategy, with Mr Castaldi to have a particular focus on the Consumer Data Right.

At the Australian Digital Health Agency, Laura Toyne has been appointed as branch manager, program and project delivery. Ms Toyne was already acting in the role.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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