ICT unlikely to rate a mention in Abbott's issues speech

Shadow communications minister spokesperson says not expecting Tony Smith's policies to be touched on in a speech by the Opposition Leader on Australia's "most important" issues

Shadow communications minister Tony Smith’s new policies for the next Federal election are unlikely to be outlined by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in a planned speech this week, according to a spokesperson for the shadow minister.

Abbott revealed today that he intends to make a speech by the end of this week outlining the Liberal Party’s “thinking” on Australia’s “most important” issues.

However, it appears this does not include the planned $43 billion National Broadband Network (NBN), the separation of Telstra (ASX:TLS), the digital economy, the digital education revolution, the ISP-level Internet content filter, or any other issues coming under the communications umbrella.

A spokesperson for Smith told Computerworld the shadow minister's policies were unlikely to rate a mention in Abbott's speech. However, the spokesperson said Smith, who took over from Senator Nick Minchin, is working on new policies to bring to the next federal election expected to be held later this year, but could not specify when they would be disclosed.

Tony Smith was appointed the new shadow minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, following a reshuffle of the Federal Opposition’s front bench last month.

His predecessor, who quit the position during the Liberal party's leadership spill over in-house differences on the Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), was reluctant to provide details on any communications policies during his tenure saying, for example, that he didn't need a policy on the NBN.

Minchin's refusal to lay out detailed policies led one analyst to describe his term as characterised by "politicking and a lack of engagement with the industry", and that you couldn't get a worse shadow minister for the portfolio.

In one of his first moves after taking over from Minchin, Smith called for an independent audit of the Federal Government's controversial ISP-level content filtering trial results.

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Tags NBNnational broadband networkICTShadow Communications MinisterNational Broadband Network (NBN)digital economyTony Abbotttony smithisp-level internet content filtering

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