Innovation Minister Wyatt Roy may lose his seat


news It appears that most tech-focused MPs and Senators have retained their seats in Saturday’s Federal Election, in good news for Australia’s technology community; with the exception of Innovation Minister Wyatt Roy, who appears set to lose his seat of Longman.

The Federal Election held on Saturday has not delivered any conclusive outcome that would lead to certainty in terms of which technology policies will be implemented over the next there years. It is likely that it will take up to several weeks before the final outcome of the poll is known.

However, there is still good news for Australia’s technology sector from the poll.

Tech-focused Labor MPs such as Jason Clare, Ed Husic, Michelle Rowland, Tim Watts and Terri Butler look to have held their seats, as well as Labor Senator Stephen Conroy.

On the Coalition side of the fence, tech-focused MPs such as Christopher Pyne, Paul Fletcher and David Coleman appear to have done the same, although Jamie Briggs, who was instrumental in getting the Liberal Party to block Labor’s controversial mandatory Internet filtering legislation, appears to have lost his seat to the Nick Xenophon Team.

Some MPs such as Brett Whiteley, who had attempted to defend the Coalition’s decision to abandon plans to bring fibre to rural Tasmania, have lost their seats, in what appears to be partially a repudiation of the Coalition’s NBN policy in some key areas.

It appears clear that Communications Minister Mitch Fifield will retain his seat.

Xenophon himself, who has been a supporter of the National Broadband Network project and opposed mandatory Data Retention policy, has strongly expanded his remit in the Parliament, picking up at least two more Senators and at least one, possibly two, lower house MPs for his party.

And Greens Senator Scott Ludlam appears to have retained his seat in Western Australia.

The fate of Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm, who opposes the NBN but also was one of the strongest opponents of Data Retention, is not yet clear.

The news means that overall, the core of technology policy expertise in the Federal Parliament has been retained, with one major exception: Wyatt Roy, who appears to have lost his seat of Longman.

The Queensland MP has not yet conceded the seat, and still may retain it based on postal voting or final count figures, but is behind on a two party preferred basis by 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent. Labor’s Susan Lamb achieved a sizable 6.1 percent swing against Roy on Saturday and looks set to win the seat.

The news of Roy’s likely exit from the Parliament will hit some in Australia’s technology sector hard.

Roy was a key supporter of Malcolm Turnbull when the Member for Wentworth successfully challenged Tony Abbott for the Prime Ministership, and was rewarded with a junior Ministership for the Innovation portfolio in Turnbull’s revised Cabinet.

He has since forged extremely strong links with Australia’s technology startup community and is highly regarded within the sector.

I will post my detailed thoughts on Wyatt Roy’s likely demise if he does indeed, formally lose the seat of Longman. However, suffice it to say that I would consider it a great loss to the technology community if he does lose the seat; and I hope he will return to Parliament in some form at a later stage.

The Queensland Parliament, perhaps, could very much use Roy’s expertise, if he can’t find a new role in Canberra.

Image credit: Office of Wyatt Roy


  1. May or has ? He talked up big about faulty ADSL FTTN to toe the line and sell the entire economy out. He should be jailed over the diary. Even if he was sincere about technology industry he toed the line and sold the entire country out for Murdoch.

  2. Can never forget his Q&A appearance where he tried his best to defend the dog’s breakfast MTM and was called out for making untrue statements and spouting the LNP line of faster cheaper sooner. He deserves to lose. Good riddance!

  3. Could he really have achieved much as the Innovation Minister for the Coalition… It’s not his abilities I’m questioning. It’s his party.

    Senator Scott Ludlam appears to have retained his seat as well as Labor Senator Stephen Conroy
    Now that’s great news.
    I smiled about this as much as when I watched MT self destruct late night on polling day.

    • +1 “I watched MT self destruct late night on polling day.”

      He did seem to become extremely unhinged didn’t he, it’s a wonder he didn’t start blocking tv crews. I say that because i remember when he became extremely unhinged on twitter re :MTM before becoming pm, it was extremely funny to watch, until he blocked me.

  4. Indeed Jordan,

    “Innovation Minister Wyatt Roy may lose his seat”… one might like to facetiously exclaim…

    …”the sooner and faster the better” ;)

  5. Renai, regardless of whether Roy retains his seat or not, I fail to understand the rationale for the claim that his absence will be a ‘great loss to the technology community”.
    I for one am at a complete loss to understand the logic behind it. I don’t recall anything that Roy did that was a positive for tech, that couldn’t be done by any other half capable minister.

    So I’m looking forward to you expanding on your reasoning, whether he goes or stays.

    (Edit – And I had a chuckle at the almost matching blue check shirts. Like an adoring puppy seeking praise through emulation.)
    (Edit: At least he’s not Pauline Hanson! :D)

    • Wyatt Roy, regardless of his “toeing the party line” stance, did have a genuine interest in technology and communications. His interest did make me change my opinion of him, till he started up with the same crap that every other party member spouted, then I lost interest again.

      Politics does need more technology focused politicians, but also politicians who act independently and don’t blindly follow the party lead (the parties almost never have the right opinion on technology and communications, and often get everything wrong).

      • “Wyatt Roy, …. did have a genuine interest in technology and communications.”
        Well that’s a plus, but not huge. Your other rationalization is personal anecdote and non-specific.

        If it’s all the same with you I think I’ll wait for Renai’s justification. ;)

  6. Have you actually met and spoken Wyatt Roy? If so it beggars belief you would lament his demise, this gent has zero regard for the betterment of his constituents and the public at large especially when it comes to forward planning with infrastructure like the real NBN

      • I wouldn’t have felt it appropriate to comment as I did if I hadn’t Renai! Perhaps the gent in question is a tad more honest when he believes he’s addressing the “Party Faithful” than a blogger (no offense intended)

        • Talked to him about tech?

          I grilled him for an hour in private, and he satisfactorily answered every question I had.

          He’s a smart man and gets tech, in a very deep way.

          Far more than almost any other politician I have interviewed.

          • “Talked to him about Tech” What else:)
            “I grilled him….” refer to my previous post! What was his reply when asked about wasting billions on outdated Tech. and purchasing “Not fit for purpose HFC networks?

            “He’s a smart man..” Sorry, Wyatt is an opportunist & populist who’s only too content to go with the flow or more succinctly he lacks moral fibre and conviction.

          • hey folks,

            Roy didn’t have a choice on the NBN. He had to sing Turnbull’s tune there or get kicked out of the Liberal Party. No MP can go against the leader of their party, or a Minister, when it comes to pushing official policy.

            But that doesn’t mean Roy was an idiot, or even that he agreed with the policy. He just did his duty.

            But even before became a Minister, he was actively engaging with Australia’s tech startup scene — talking to people, agitating inside the Liberal Party for support, talking about it in Parliament.

            This shows organic interest. And by the time I caught up with him after he became a Minister, he was as knowledgeable about the scene as I am, and as keen on tech.

            I think sometimes people assume that politicians believe everything they say. But often they don’t — it’s just their job to say it. Just like every workplace, there are rules, and if you break the rules, your colleagues will get you in the shit.

            So when you consider Roy, consider this: I’ve known many politicians, and I’ve not a shill or an idiot. When I say that someone is organically interested in tech and knows their shit, you guys had better believe it.

            Or you had better go and read some other site ;)

          • Just to add to what Renai said…he was a Turnbull supporter as well. Losing him just makes the left/centre (no, I’m not saying Malcolm is a leftie you idiots) of the LPA even weaker, and the LPA even more rabid than it already is.

            The single biggest issue with Australia and the LPA is the rabid right of that party…losing anyone that helps keep them centered is not a good thing.

          • “I think sometimes people assume that politicians believe everything they say.”
            The ones who don’t believe what they say and say it anyway are much, much worse.

            There are plenty of other right leaning parties that I’m sure would be happy to accept his resume.

            Anyone sprucing the party line despite clear immoral or illegal wrongdoing can go to hell.

          • “The single biggest issue with Australia and the LPA is the rabid right of that party”
            The more rabid they get, the more Australia will wake up. This term is proof of that. The LPA falling to pieces can only be a good thing for Australia.

          • Some of youse may want to read Waleed Aly at, keeping in mind Renai’s first para above: “He had to sing Turnbull’s tune there or get kicked out of the Liberal Party.”

            I’m not sure Bill Shorten is entirely correct in his prediction of a new election next year, I think it’s more likely in Q2 2018, but it will definitely owe to Liberal disintegration.

          • @gordon451

            Yeah, hard to tell really, they don’t seem to be all heading in the same direction, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Time will tell I guess.

        • “He just did his duty.”

          That’s the problem. Too many see their duty to the party, i.e., their career, is greater than their duty to their constituents and less directly the national interest. Duty to party is a very poor excuse especially for someone you have just told us should know better.

          Yet another reason for the drift away from the mainstream. Although I must admit we wold be in even worse trouble if some of the minor parties got too much representation. But wait…

  7. So far he has got off lightly with his involvement in perverting the workings of Parliament with the Slipper affair. Although I believe the AFP (cough cough) as still investigating.

    Brough has gone, and that leaves Pyne.

    • You think Pyne is the worst in the LPA? I don’t think you have done enough reading.

  8. No great loss for technology community as Wyatt’s head is only in one place…..Malcolm Turnbull’s ass and that’s about all he can bring to Canberra. As for his expertise, what expertise apart from being a smug pompous wart hanging on the end of Turnbull’s knob?

  9. “On the Coalition side of the fence, tech-focused MPs such as Christopher Pyne, Paul Fletcher…”

    Tech focussed!? …….Focussed on bad tech,(FTTN,[in Australia]) & lying about good tech,(FTTP) so that crap tech & policies are implemented by force &/or by duping the overly nieve/trusting public into supporting their tech choices.

    Cry me a river; “although Jamie Briggs, who was instrumental in getting the Liberal Party to block Labor’s controversial mandatory Internet filtering legislation, appears to have lost his seat to the Nick Xenophon Team.”

    In opposition weren’t the Liberals opposing & trying to block, pretty-much, everything? LOL XD

    Though I’d rather have a half-baked porn/childsafe filter idea, than this meta-data retention bs. the Liberals bullied on through.

    We could dns around simple porn/site filters, now we need purchase f’ing vpn’s for privacy, something not required before as any trails you left would be small, not all collated & likely stored with lax,(minimal required) security at your local isp & voip providers, etc., making for a super awesome place to hack to grab all the data,(meta data) you could ever need to run super successful identity scams & leaving poor suckers that didn’t use vpns, with potentially, debts of thousands, to hundreds of thousands, that they then need to struggle to prove wasn’t created by them.

    Fuck all that, fuck the Liberals & other data storing via legislation scum,(btw Labor got wedged to vote for it incase some random idiot blew something up,[even if just their own finger] before an election; “eww terrorist… That’s labors fault – Vote Liberal if not a terrorist loving hippy”.. But that does still make Labor weak as piss in getting wedged).

    So anyone that knew the truth about good tech, or good tech policy in the Liberal/National party & did not openly speak the truth, or leak it; Deserved to lose their seats.

    Up yours too, Brett Whiteley & your other 2 Amigos,(3 Tas., Libs.); Signed Tasmania.

    Later, RIPP :)

  10. Coalition could do a lot worse than Roy, just check out the Abbott diehards swarming Roy’s facebook page right now. Eek.

  11. I’d rather see one Abetz or Bernadi (both would be excellent!) go than ten Roy’s…hell, even prefer to see David Feeney lose his seat…

  12. I’m not sure I can agree.

    I lost all respect for Wyatt Roy back in 2014 at the National Young Leader’s conference in Brisbane when I was told I wasn’t allowed to ask questions in front of the audience on sensitive issues that might make him or his political party look bad.

    The NYLC was supposed to be inspiring but I was instead left with the bitter taste of censorship in my mouth. I even remember someone going off script and asking a question about the humane treatment of refugees in offshore detention only to have the microphone cut mid-sentence.
    When I had tried to ask my question, “How can Australia be expected to lead on the world stage without leading National Broadband Network infrastructure?” I was met with harsh opposition suggesting that I instead “What are some of the challenges you have faced being such a young parliamentarian?”.

    To top this off, posting this on his public Facebook page wall following his election defeat had my post deleted and myself blocked from his page.

    • Is that a ban-hammer in Renais’ pocket now?

      Or is he just excited to know that you guys still disagree with him.. lol XD

      From an above Renai post:

      “When I say that someone is organically interested in tech and knows their shit, you guys had better believe it.

      Or you had better go and read some other site ;)”

      Later, RIPP :)

  13. Slightly off topic. The AEC is hung up on the “impossibility” of ensuring electors’ voting intentions remain secret if we were to move to electronic voting to reduce costs, expedite counting and eliminate queues. Therefore we stick with pencils and cardboard ballot boxes.

    Meanwhile the parliament waves through draconian data retention laws which are far more destructive of privacy. Please explain.

    • Yupp .. & you now need pay extra for a vpn .. and unblocker,(if you wish to use netflix on a non stream-only device) less your net metadata is stored for 2 years,(great for identity theives to hack into & obtain from isps’ using lowest required protections for your data,[why would private sector pay more than required to protect you afterall]).

      Here’s another kinda offtopic, for those that travel to the U.S.A;

      Please handover your pasport at the checkout, along with all your juicy social media details.. Only checking you’re not a terrorist, promise not to copy your private nudey, or embarressing pics,[CLICKS FWD,{heh, only said “copy”, not fwd ..while lol’ing to themselves}].

      Later, RIPP.

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