ICT Industry urges Tas Government rethink on Tech Minister

Statement from TasICT President David Mills 18.04.24

Tasmania’s tech sector has called on the State Government to re-instate a dedicated technology minister or risk the erosion of tech investment and jobs in the state.

TasICT President David Mills said he was dismayed the State Government’s new ministry for the first time in more than a decade had no science or technology minister.

“Tasmania has joined the ACT as the only jurisdiction without a science or technology minister – and even in the ACT they have a ministry focussed on the science of climate change.”

“It leaves the State Government’s technology focus back where it was in 2010 – and we’ve come so far with Government we don’t want to turn back the clock.”

Leader of the Opposition, Dean Winter, has this week announced Janie Finlay as Shadow Minister for Science & Technology.

Mr Mills said TasICT would write to the Premier requesting a change in the spirit of collaboration.

“We hope that the omission of a discrete ministry is an oversight and will be corrected by the time Parliament sits for the first time on 14 May 2024.”

“TasICT represents a $1.7b industry in Tasmania covering over 11,000 employees and we know first-hand the enormous importance of technology to the state’s economy and jobs-future.”

“Every business in Tasmania needs to be tech-savvy, and we need the Government to continue to be prepared to value technology and lead from the front.”

“You only need to see the enormous impact generative AI and cyber security have, and will continue to have, on Tasmania.”

“Add to that the fundamental importance of technology in education through STEM subjects – the jobs of today and tomorrow revolve around technology and science.”

The most recent Australian Computer Society Digital Pulse Survey identified that by 2030 Australia would need 1.8 million tech skills, an increase of 1.3 million on today’s levels. The report also highlights the growing industry in Tasmania with the sector set to grow to 18,000 employees by 2030.

“Tasmania should continue to build the capability needed to address technology opportunities and risks.”