Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/11/24/worlds_biggest_luddite_retains/

World's biggest luddite retains IT ministership

Senator Alston clings to post

By Kieren McCarthy

Posted in Media, 24th November 2001 08:16 GMT

The World's Biggest Luddite™ Senator Alston has retained his position as Communications and IT minister for the Australian goverment following a cabinet reshuffle today - despite opposition from within his party and widespread rumours that he wanted to step down.

Senator Alston who has famously attempted to outlaw email, gambling and any adult content over the Internet was reported to be "reluctant" to continue as IT minister after the Liberal Party won a third election.

Despite a reported challenge to the position by former arts minister and now science minister Peter McGauran, Senator Alston retained the post - but without the arts portfolio that now goes to Rod Kemp (together with sport).

Alston has had a turbulent time as IT minister, most notably selling a majority share in government-owned telco Telstra, the introduction of digital TV and a change in media ownership laws. However he has become famous throughout the world for his strong-armed measures to attempt to control the Internet.

He was thought to want to move job but said before the reshuffle: "I'd do whatever the Prime Minister thinks makes sense. It's not my call." At one time, three other politicians were considered front-runners for the post. ®

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