Startups champion Ed Husic rejoins the Labor frontbench as Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Resources

Ed Husic

Ed Husic speaking at the Safe Encryption Australia event. Source: Supplied.

Labor MP and staunch supporter of the Aussie tech sector Ed Husic is back in the shadow cabinet, 18 months after he stepped down as shadow minister for the digital economy.

This time, he takes on the role of Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Resources, following the resignation of Joel Fitzgibbon, who announced he was stepping down this morning amid disagreements over Labor’s climate policies.

In his former role, Husic was known as one of few vocal champions of the Australian tech industry. He publicly denounced the controversial Assistance and Access Act 2018, and backed investment into blockchain and other tech.

In May last year, Husic stepped down from the shadow cabinet, backing former New South Wales premier Kristina Keneally to step up instead.

At the time, the startup sector expressed some dismay at his departure.

StartupAus chief executive Alex McCauley called Husic “an indefatigable supporter of tech and entrepreneurs”, and called the news “a big loss”.

Today, Husic said he is “very honoured” to be back on the front bench.

While he’s not directly representing the tech sector, he does take over the agriculture portfolio at a time when the farming sector is embracing innovation more readily than ever before.

“I’m very happy to be able to be responsible for two industries that have been the absolute bedrock of the Australian economy, in terms of agriculture and resources,” he said.

“They have not only generated enormous wealth for the nation, but they’ve created jobs for people, really good jobs.”

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