Confirmed: Stephen Conroy Has Resigned As Communications Minister

It's official: Kevin Rudd is now, once again, Prime Minister-Elect following a leadership spill in Canberra late last night. We expect a raft of Cabinet resignations today, but it has now been confirmed that Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has resigned.

His resignation was confirmed by his office early this morning:

Conroy -- a key Labor powerbroker in the Gillard government -- has been the champion of the National Broadband Network since it was announced by the very first Rudd-led government.

His other more controversial policies included a push around the Mandatory Internet Filter -- a policy that was dumped late last year.

Conroy has been a key Gillard supporter in the 43rd Parliament.

The now ex-Prime Minister Julia Gillard called a Caucus meeting to spill for the Labor leadership once and for all yesterday, a vote which saw the nation's first female PM ousted by a vote of 57 to 45 in favour of Kevin Rudd.

Now that Senator Conroy has left his post, it's unclear as to who will take his place in the new Rudd-led government.

There's speculation Gillard's Sports Minister, Senator Kate Lundy, might inherit the massive portfolio, but that's just it: Senator Lundy threw her support behind the Prime Minister yesterday right into the Caucus Room.

Senator Penny Wong has been elected Senate Leader in Conroy's-stead, although at this stage the position is largely going to be ceremonial: today (Thursday) is the last sitting day before the Federal Election, which at this stage is still set for 14 September. Although, it's being speculated that an August election is now more-likely.

The Australian people will then decide who they want in Government, and the respective party leaders -- Abbott and Rudd -- will then decide on their Cabinets post-ballot.



    Easily the best thing to come out of this farce tonight

      Indeed, we have organised to have a celebration lunch at work tomorrow (we work in IT).

      Pop some champagne!

      and to top it off the blues got a hiding! :) great night

      Yep, good riddance Stephen Conjob. He was a big enough d!ckhead to be in the LIberal party.

    Is this good for the NBN ? I think the NBN is easily the best product to be born from this infighting government and Abbot will roll it back 20 years. We will need to wait and see I guess

      Anyone supporting the NBN who says Abbot will roll the technology back 20 years obviously knows little about technology. Time will tell.

        Of course it wont go backwards, but it'll be a long way short of doing it fully (and properly?) in the first place

          I am overly excited for it to it to come to my node then to my house

            Fibre to residential nodes is a waste of money. It is like needing a Ferrari to drive to the nearby shopping centre. Only could use a Ferrari at its full potential on the autobahn. NBN will take longer to deliver which means it will become redundant by the time it is delivered whereas the Coalitions solution will be delivered sooner, cheaper and be more relevant when it is delivered.

              @itisawesome: 50 years ago a Ferrari had performance less than most now take for granted in their family cars. That aside, what on earth is behind your claim that the NBN (FTTH/P) with a 100mbps initial deployment speed (with 1gpbs and higher just a GBIC change away) is immediately "redundant" whereas the coalition's rollout speed of just 25% of that is not? Furthermore you clearly have no idea of the effect distance and moisture has on the old copper installations that the coalition's plan relies upon.

              Beyond that, the LNP FTTN plan is not even costed yet, so your claims of it being cheaper are also completely suspect.

              Here is the deal. FTTH/P is clearly superior to FTTN and the only real question is whether we want to invest in infrastructure to enable the future or whether we just want to expand coverage for today's needs.

                FTTH/P is clearly superior to FTTN - True
                claims of it being cheaper are also completely suspect. - well that's disingenuous. Of course its cheaper, no real new requirements, and less overall work = cheaper, every time, and due to it being less work overall it would be delivered far more quickly.

                So the vast majority of Australians would have 25Mbps conections within a few years instead of a 100Mbps connection in a decade (or is it two). The system would be upgradable in the future (doing FTTH/P could still be done), and those who simply MUST have it can anti up their own cash to get the last mile installed (and add value to their home in the process).

                As far as I can see the argument is more about people want the better option (forgetting that they are paying for it in tax that could go better places eg health), and don't realise that chances are they don't need the speed. Streamed video can be done in less than a 1Mbps link, 25Mbps should be well more than adequate for non business users (unless they really need to down load that episode of Game of thrones in two minutes flat).

                @NetworkEngineer: you might want to read what the LNP plan is. You can still get FTTH it just will not be installed for free. There is talk about getting ISP's to pay for the install of fibre not NBNco for people that want it. 25mb is just the min speed that will be guaranteed by the LNP.

                Last edited 27/06/13 3:59 pm


                  You might want to read the policy too mate, it clearly states that not only will you have to pay:

                  "Fibre generally be deployed in new ('greenfield') housing estates and wherever copper has to be replaced (unless there are particular commercial reasons not to do so)".

                  "NBN Co will provide for fibre on demand at individual premesis as soon as possible where fibre does not extend to the premise and this is technically feasible and commercially viable".

                  Copied word for word out of libs policy (even the spelling mistakes), so what constitutes a technically feasible and commercially viable scenario? This is BT all over again where they'll upgrade the exchange but not the 'cabinets' in situations where it doesn't suit them (because they wont be able to gouge peoples wallets with inferior service).

                  Furthermore take up rates of the highest speed plans have been 44% not the 16% predictions that were made, people want/need the speed and they want it now, which makes MT's statement of "25Mbps is good enough" completely redundant along with the FTTN plan.

                  There is talk about getting ISP's to pay for the install of fibre not NBNco for people that want it.

                  How exactly are you going to force a private entity to do anything with their own asset? If you know please tell me so i can get telstra to give me fibre right this second instead of waiting around for NBN Co to get here. If people couldn't force them to upgrade for the last 13 years nothing has changed now to make that happen.

                  25mb is just the min speed that will be guaranteed by the LNP.

                  No... it's UP TO 25Mbps dont forget those all important 2 words, depending on distance, loop length, ground moisture, cable condition and number of users. Furthermore the technology proposed to give speeds of up to 100Mbps require phantoming and vectoring over a bonded pair, this requires that each user have 2 telephone lines already connected to their premesis and each 'Node' will need a fair amount of maintenance to maintain those speeds.

        Mate, clearly JustMe was exaggerating, but the core point was valid: the Coalition aren't as forward-thinking as the ALP when it comes to technology. For Abbott, it's a case of "close enough is good enough" -- which means the incumbent government in 5 years' time will be revisiting this. Not a good thing. :(

        You obviously missed the fact that over 100 years ago there were people saying that we did not need copper wires as iron would handle the needs of the people... Just like the people wanting to keep using the copper they think that it will meet future needs while it struggles to meet TODAY'S needs, never mind future needs!

    Media fueled blood letting. That being said I always thought Conroy was not a good choice for communications minister.

      My mum would have been a better communications minister...

        Wow your mum knows about managing the country's communication needs! What's her take on FTTN versus FTTH?

          Difference of a letter.

            lol if that is your understanding of the difference of the two you've no place making comments on ALP NBN plan being redundant upon deployment.

    Yes. It seemed like the NBN became a political potato rather than a national advance in technology and service to the people of Australia.

    conroy gone, big party for me. he have to wear his pant
    emerson-go back to write his book
    Gillard final get marry
    swan wondering why I fuck up the Australian economic and create more debts
    garett have all the tme now doing his music dance and singing

      If your idea of a "bad" economy is one that is growing (when most of the other first world nations are in recession), where interest rates are low, and where unemployment levels are low then I'm 100% in support of Swan.

        Low interest rates are an indicator of a weakening economy, not a strong one. Japan's economy has been stagnant for a decade and their interest rates are zero. But if anything, it shows that the metrics laypeople use to judge the health of the economy aren't the ones economists use.

        That's the thing though, the economy isn't growing. Manufacturing is the most stagnant I've seen it in 10 years, foundries closing left right and center.
        We need the dollar to drop, and our own technological capability to grow, boost R&D and translate that to specialist manufactured goods... and you're golden.

        My idea of bad economic management is allowing the country to be almost 300 Billion dollars in debt in just six years when they started with $70 Billion in the bank, with future prospects indicating that we will go further into the red when they attempt to raise the debt ceiling again.

      wow, which boat did you come off? unless of course the 13 at the end of your username is your age...

    I guess in reality it makes little difference unless they win the next election.. Which isn't far away.. Personally, can we just not have any of these 3 people please. How about a fourth option.

    Mikey for prime minister, 2020

      Vote for potato. On your ballot paper, just cross out all the names and write 'potato' across the whole thing.

        Informal voting in protest is a nice idea, but in practice I think most people have a "I would like that group the very least" preference. Particularly when there are groups like the DLP vying for senate seats.

    so now that he's gone who's guarding the portals?

    i want to know giz's take on the effects of conroy leaving.

    the right time to resign after all the Abestos fiasco with NBN, couldn't have come at a more convenient time. No more accountable for the complete roll out of NBN, the minister in waiting has to sort that mess.

      What "asbestos fiasco" - do you mean the four or five small asbestos handling issues Telstra contractors had that the media pretended was a massive deal?

      Asbestos fiasco with Telstra

      Fixed it for you.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. This man represents a big part of what's wrong with Labor today: Interfering nanny-statists with no respect to the fundamental freedoms needed to make a country like ours what it is. Between this and Roxon's resignation earlier this year, I think Labor might be slowly starting to turn things around. Though I still think they need a stint in opposition, just to be on the safe side.

    Last edited 03/07/13 9:00 pm

      What we need is governments to stop making new laws. All of the laws that need to exist already do, and most of the laws that already exist are awful and should be repealed.

    Talk about win-win-win, in one short spill, we get rid of gillard, conroy and swan.

    If they pick Ed Husic to replace him, I'll be very happy.

      Kate Lundy is extremely switched on when it comes to tech, I think it was even Giz that did an article on her a while ago. She'll get over Gillard's departure.
      Here we go, found it:

        Well, she's good too and I like her style. Damn! If they pick someone else other than these two, I'll be very disappointed.

        Last edited 27/06/13 4:18 pm

    I really don't understand the vitriol against him shown here?
    He tried to get through some fairly ditzy privacy filter regulations but all in all he's put up a damn good fight against the Libs to keep it high on the federal agenda and the eyes of the public. Remember those privacy issues are more or less history now.

    Have a look at this

    Last edited 27/06/13 8:33 am

      I think the vitriol is due to him trying to pass those stupid regulations and the mandatory internet filter with the hidden blacklists.

      Also when questioned on multiple occasions about it he showed a complete lack of understanding of the internet or IT in general.

      Which means A he didn't understand and B he didn't bother getting an explanation about how it works from those who do know some of which he employs.

      So I guess incompetence as well?

      He's still in favor of censorship, he's just not being public about it. He's a book-burning piece of trash and the world would be better off if he'd suck-start a shotgun.

      I'm not sure what you mean by damn good fight? He most certainly is good at fighting, but I'm not sure it was a good fight. He is abrasive, irritating, and inarticulate. He turns every Senate question time in to a pointless yelling match. He fails to answer reasonable questions about costings and timeframes of the NBN, which only make him and the labour government come across as evasive and dishonest.

      I say this as someone who is going to vote for labour regardless, as the idea of Tony Abbott in charge terrifies me.

        @scottyoz @srg @slight
        Fair enough he was, abrasive, and I hated that privacy filter nonsense. I just though he was unflinching in his attitude to the implementation of the NBN. I guess I just have a different perspective. :)

          Just because a broken clock is right twice a day doesn't mean you keep it around.

      Thanks Timmahh, a bit of rational thought where before there was almost none. For all the others:-
      1. Conroy did not die, he just went to the backbench.
      2. Conroy clearly had a much better grasp on his portfolio than his opposite number in the coalition.
      3. He supported the privacy filter nonsense because it was popular with a majority of the people, not because it was a good idea. Ultimately he had the good sense to drop it.

        1. Fair point
        2. Doesn't say much for his opposite...
        3. No. It was pushed for by the Christian/Catholic controlled supporters of his seat/party. If it had been 'popular with the majority' it would have maintained forward momentum. It wasn't, and so it didn't.

    Good riddance. There's a job waiting in China as head of the Repression of Free Speech, Internet Censorship and Citizen Spying Committee for you CONroy.

    Good riddence to Conroy. Hope he enjoys wearing his own undies on his head now.

    A pity about Swan though. Personally I think our economy is in pretty good shape over all considering how most of the rest of the world is faring. I feel he was also one of the few in the ALP that actually knew what he was doing.
    But that's politics. We all have our opinions I guess.

    Restrained my pedantry for more than 12 hours. Can't...hold...out...any... longer.

    Rudd has not been prime-minister elect since 2007. To be prime minister elect you need to be elected but not sworn in yet. Last night, Rudd became leader of the Labor party and de facto pm, perhaps pm in waiting, perhaps presumptive pm. One thing he certainly wasn't was pm elect.

    Yeah, that's just pedantry.

    At least Senator Kate Lundy has I.T. experience.

    Now's your chance Angus Kidman!
    Become Supreme Communications Minister!

    Should have brought in Thatcher she's doing nothing these days.

    Hey, I'd contact the baker to install my plumbing... So what's wrong with the government fiddling with my broadband?

    what being dead and all?

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