End of an Era

The Peak Industry Body for the Information, Communication and Technology Sector has recognised the valuable partnership between industry & Government which has been demonstrated during Michael Ferguson’s time as Minister for Science and Technology.

Responding to Premier Peter Gutwein’s announcement that Minister Nic Street has now been handed the important portfolio, TasICT President Martin Anderson congratulated the incoming Minister on his appointment to the Cabinet, whilst reflecting on the shared achievements during Mr Ferguson’s time as Minister for Science and Technology, particularly in the past two to three years.

He believes that whilst it is the end of a very productive era with Mr Ferguson, he is looking forward to building on that success with the incoming minister and his department.

“The Government is the biggest consumer of ICT products and services in Tasmania” said Mr Anderson “so it’s vital that the public and private sectors understand each other and work closely together for the benefit of local business & employment growth. The Tasmanian Information, Communication and Technology sector employs more than 9,000 people and that is projected to grow to more than 12,000 in the next four years”.

Michael Ferguson has been working with TasICT for 12 years including eight of those as Minister, and with his support during this time, TasICT has grown to be self-sufficient and independent, representing a state-wide membership base including individuals, sole traders, partnerships, small & medium enterprises, large businesses and corporations.

In addition to the ongoing work in developing the ICT workforce with initiatives like Project Springboard and the ICT Workforce Development Action Plan, TasICT has successfully worked with Mr Ferguson to change the way in which Government contracts are procured. Important changes to sales under the C150 contract and the unlimited liability default position, have resulted in significant savings for local businesses and more efficiency in the way business with the Government is conducted.

Support for the ICT sector has also been developed through Government sponsorship of Excellence Awards and the Industry Summit at the annual Tasmanian ICT Conference. The level of government cooperation has also grown through the personal engagement between the state’s leaders and industry participants at the annual ‘Drinks with the Premier & Minster’ networking events in Hobart and Launceston.

Mr Anderson said “TasICT appreciates the approach taken by Mr Ferguson during his time as Minister, and the manner in which he acknowledged that the ICT sector underpins all industries. During recent times, he has also recognised the importance of businesses finding new ways of operating through digital transformation”.