WA govt’s ICT portfolio gets digital economy rebrand

Brandon How

Western Australian Innovation and ICT minister Stephen Dawson has become the state’s first Innovation and Digital Economy minister in a Cabinet reshuffle prompted by the departure of two of ministers.

Responsibility for the Hydrogen Industry portfolio has also moved from Alannah MacTiernan, who is retiring this year, to Deputy Premier Roger Cook, who is also responsible for State Development, Jobs and Trade, Commerce, and Science.

Mr Dawson had his role renamed to Minister for Innovation and Digital Economy after less than a year as Minister for Innovation and ICT. He is also the Minister for Emergency Services, for Medical Research, and for Volunteering.

Western Australian Minister for Innovation and Digital Economy Stephen Dawson

The new Cabinet appointments were elected on Tuesday afternoon in response to the retirement of Ms MacTiernan, who has also vacated the Regional Development, and Agriculture and Food portfolios, and last week’s resignation of former Water, Forestry, and Youth minister Dave Kelly at the request of Premier McGowan.

Mr Kelly said the Premier Mark McGowan was interested in renewal and to allow more women to enter cabinet. He was the state’s first ICT minister and held the portfolio between March 2017 and March 2021.

Mr McGowan said the changes were made to enhance the government’s “strength stability, experience, and hard work”.

“Being in Cabinet is a privilege that requires hard work, energy and enthusiasm, dedication, and diplomacy — and I am confident that the new team will deliver on our plan to stand up for every Western Australian and ensure WA continues to be the strongest, most successful and fairest State in the nation, if not the world,” he said.

Two new ministers, Sabine Winton and Jackie Jarvis, have been added to the Cabinet team. Ms Winton was formerly a schoolteacher before entering state politics, while Ms Jarvis was a prominent agri-business operator.

Ms Winton, who was elected to the legislative assembly in 2017, will oversee the Child Protection, Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, and Community Services portfolios, in addition to the new Early Childhood Education portfolio.

Ms Jarvis entered the legislative assembly following the 2021 election and will oversee Agriculture and Food, Forestry, and Small Business.

After 10 years overseeing the Education portfolio, Sue Ellery has her responsibilities shifted to Finance, Commerce, and Women’s Interests.

Toni Butti adds Minister for Education to his ongoing responsibilities for Aboriginal Affairs, and for Citizenship and Multicultural Interest. He has been dropped from the Finance and the Racing and Gaming portfolios.

Minister for Environment and for Climate Action Reece Whitby picks up the Racing and Gaming Portfolios.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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