Qld ICT minister Robert Schwarten retires

New Cabinet to be announced on Monday

Queensland’s Minister for Public Works and Information and Communication Technology, Robert Schwarten, is stepping down after 22 years in office.

The retirement was announced during a Parliament session and also confirmed by his office. He had held both the ICT and Public Works portfolios since October 2006.

Schwarten's retirement is effective on 21 February and he will not seek re-election. A new Cabinet led by the Liberal National Party (LNP) will be sworn in next week.

"Either you retire or somebody throws you out, and I'm glad that I'm going on my own terms at a time of my own choosing, very few get the privilege of doing that I'm deeply honoured to have that,'' Schwarten said in a closing speech.

"Time moves on, and there's a whole bunch of talent in this room that's going to fill this seat. I leave with my head held high, a smile on my face and I'm looking forward to having a beer this afternoon."

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said it was a historic day and thanked Schwarten for his years of public service.

Schwarten spearheaded a number of IT projects including an Exchange email consolidation project, however he drew fire from Opposition members in October 2010 when he admitted that the project would be delivered in 2012 - two years after its initial due date.

It also emerged this year that Queensland may experience IT project budget cuts due to the extensive January floods.

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