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Friday, 24 September 2010 17:31

Lundy to prime PM's Gov 2.0 engine


The technology sector's profile got a big promotion within the Gillard Government when ACT Senator Kate Lundy was elevated into a Parliamentary Secretary role. It's in her nature these days, it seems, she takes the industry with her wherever she goes.

But as Parliamentary Secretary for Prime Minister & Cabinet and for Immigration & Citizenship, there are some specific policy areas and service delivery opportunities where Senator Lundy's long-standing interest in the digital world will be valuable.

The PM&C brief includes responsibility for core Gov 2.0 and Open Government issues like privacy, freedom of information, and the management of government records - areas in which Senator Lundy has proved effective from the backbench. The new role gives her resources and policy development responsibility.

Because of the broad-based nature of PM&C, there is opportunity for cross-portfolio work. The newly-created Regional Services portfolio under Simon Crean falls within the Prime Minister's department, and for anyone who has been following every word of the king-making rural independents, that means National Broadband Network and the delivery of better services to the bush (read health and education.)

She is also expected to work closely with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who was given additional responsibilities for advising Julia Gillard on digital productivity matters.

"I am obviously looking at maintaining my active involvement in the Gov 2.0 agenda, with the broader issues of the management of information across Government," Senator Lundy said.

"The other wonderful dynamic to reflect on is obviously (the Prime Minister's) specific interest in what's going to happen with the National Broadband Network, and her association with Senator Conroy with him now assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity," she said.

"I have long advocated that I see our investment in the NBN as underpinning that fundamental access and equity issue about online services."

"Because regional services under Simon Crean is now located within that broad Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio, there are just some really exciting cross-portfolio opportunities to progress these issues."

As Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration & Citizenship services, she will be responsible for multicultural affairs and settlement services and will likely become a visible fixture at citizenship services and multicultural events.

But immigration is a massive IT shop and has some innovative on-going programs around things like translation services and visa applications. Senator Lundy says she's already been briefed by Immigration technology chief Nico Padovan.

"It's a pretty impressive suite of internet based visa applications that they can offer and because they are servicing to the global community - people wanting to come to Australia, not just Australian citizens - there is a lot of potential for IT-based services to make that process easier and more efficient," she said.

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