The election by Caucus of Julia Gillard as Prime Minister is an opportunity for the government to reimagine the ministry and the way Cabinet is run. Under Kevin Rudd, the “kitchen cabinet” that made up the Strategic Policy and Budget Committee, cutting decision-making out of the responsible Ministers’ hands can be remedied, with power rightly back in the hands of portfolio Ministers with appropriate expertise.
On the matter of expertise, a new Prime Minister should mean a new Cabinet and wider Ministry. There are a great number of talented people already in the Ministry, and they should obviously keep their jobs. On the other hand, there are several Ministers, not least of whom is Stephen Conroy, whose performance as Communications Minister (not that that’s his proper title) has been questionable with acrimonious dealings with telcos and strident, inaccurate criticism of opponents of bad policies such as the Internet filter.
A Gillard leadership could see a new Minister in the Communications portfolio, and there’s no better choice than Senator Kate Lundy. She’s informed on all the issues (and has long history and experience with
them), but she’s a known listener and seeker of agreement. A Communications Minister of Kate Lundy’s experience, intelligence and understanding would see a significant change in the way the portfolio was managed. The NBN and the Internet filter might have a real chance of success under her.
Stephen Collins is recognised internationally as an innovator, community builder and engaging public speaker in social media and experience design. He is the Founder of Acidlabs.org, and is dedicated to working with organisations in the public and private sectors to help them change their corporate culture into one where people are at the heart of everything they do.