Bligh’s technology speech ‘bland and disappointing’


One of the state’s main technology industry associations has labelled a speech by Premier Anna Bligh in front of the cream of Queensland’s technology sector as being “bland” and “an opportunity squandered”.

“Anna always impresses with her delivery and verbal dexterity, but when you have a bland and virtually content-free speech, this was nothing other than an opportunity squandered,” said Software Queensland chair John Vickers in a statement today, referring to Bligh’s presentation to an AIIA/ACS lunch yesterday of 800 industry luminaries.

Vickers said that Bligh wasted an opportunity to “win over” 70,000 employees in the QLD ICT industry. “Delegates were underwhelmed by the lack of vision and inspiration provided in the speech,” he said in a statement.

According to the spokesperson, Bligh had spent 10 minutes on Queensland’s video games sector which Vickers refers to as “at best a boutique sector”, skimmed over NBN rollout details and only then mentioned the three Queensland sites named for rollout.

Bligh’s mention of the QLD Health massacre did rise SQ’s spirits for a moment, “Credit must however be given to the Premier for her references to the causes of the Health Payroll debacle, and her referencing of the Auditor General’s report which cited people management shortfalls rather than software and hardware issues as the root cause of the failure,” said Vickers. “However, there was an undercurrent of blame with both the vendor and the technology that was of concern.”

However the praise was fleeting. Vickers reminded Bligh that the ICT industry had offered a “plethora of advice” to the Queensland government to warn against the shared services model — advice it said was “ignored”. The statement included the Premier’s lack of mention of Queensland’s ICT’s future and expansion, and also stated the Premier glossed over small to medium businesses in the state’s IT industry.

In late June, Bligh was forced into an embarassing backdown, acknowledging Queensland would abandon its centralised IT shared services model as its exclusive structure for delivering IT services to government agencies, in the wake of the Queensland Health payroll disaster and damaging revelations of widespread problems in associated programs.

Software Queensland does not list its membership on its website. But its board boasts high-profile Queensland industry names such as Technology One, Hedloc, 3W and more.

Image credit: David Jackmanson, Creative Commons


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