Queensland appoints new ICT Minister

The Queensland IT portfolio has been handed to the former energy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Minister John Mickel in a cabinet reshuffle announced this week.

Mickel, who now holds state development, employment and industrial relations, won the information technology portfolio from defeated small business and multicultural affairs minister Chris Cummins.

Cummins lost his seat in the Queensland election held last weekend.

Australian Computer Society president Philip Argy said the appointment elevates ICT in Cabinet and recognizes the significant contribution of ICT to the economic success of the state.

"The ACS has sought and received John Mickel's personal assurance that IT will enjoy his full and ongoing support. We look forward to meeting with the new minister at an early opportunity to discuss a number of exciting initiatives that the ACS will be promoting in the coming years," Argy said.

"Software development, in particular, plays a pivotal role in the success of the state's economy."

Argy referred to the results of the ACS's annual Australian ICT Trade Update 2006, noting Queensland produces 7 percent of Australia's ICT equipment exports.

John Mickel was unable to be reached for comment. The first meeting with department heads was held yesterday.

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