The Member for Bradfield in Sydney’s north, Paul Fletcher, has been appointed as Australia’s Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts following a post-election cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Most recently the Minister for Families and Social Services, Fletcher has considerable experience in the communications sector having also served as: Minister for Urban Infrastructure; Minister for Urban Infrastructure; Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government; and Parliamentary Secretary from 2013-15 to the then Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull.
He also served as Director, Corporate & Regulatory Affairs with SingTel Optus, and Senior Adviser/Chief of Staff from 1996-2000 to Howard Government Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston.
A product of Sydney Grammar School, he holds a BA (Hons 1) Economics, as well as a Bachelor of Laws (LLB – Hons 1) from Sydney University, and an MBA from Columbia University’s Columbia Business School in the U.S.
The Communications Alliance welcomed the appointment of Paul Fletcher as Minister.
Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said Mr Fletcher’s commercial experience in the communications sector and deep knowledge of the industry would be key attributes as the Government engages on a wide-ranging array of necessary reforms.
“During his period as Parliamentary Secretary for Communications, from 2013-15, Paul worked closely and constructively with industry and other stakeholders on a package of ‘red-tape reduction’ initiatives.
“I think Paul recognises, better than most, that a balance needs to be struck between the imposition and costs imposed on industry and consumers by additional layers of regulation, compared with the benefits that can be generated.
“We look forward to working with the new Minister.”
Paul Fletcher’s appointment was also welcomed by Network 10.
A statement from the Network said, “Paul Fletcher is a great choice for the Communications portfolio. He is smart, pragmatic and has a deep understanding of our industry.
“Paul is definitely the right person to be dealing with the big and complex issues that need to be sorted in this area.
“We would also like to congratulate Mitch Fifield on his new role as Australia’s representative to the United Nations. We thank him for all his hard work in Communications over the past few years.“
Outgoing Minister, Senator Mitch Fifield, has been announced as the next Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations.
In a statement, Senator Fifield said, “The Prime Minister invited me to continue to serve in his Cabinet and was keen for me to do so in my current portfolio, but I sought another way to serve.
“During my 15 years in the Senate I have served for a decade on the front bench, including six years as a member of the Leadership Group having held the positions of Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, Manager of Government Business in the Senate, Minister for Communications and the Arts and Minister for Disabilities and Aged Care.
“I am proud through these roles to have reformed Australia’s media laws, overseen the near completion of the nbn, put in place the building blocks for a tougher approach to online regulation, prepared the way for the 5G revolution, laid the foundations of the NDIS, delivered greater choice for the aged in home care, provided policy and funding certainty for the arts and boosted support for Australian contemporary music and our national collecting institutions.
“The last decade and half in the Senate has been immensely rewarding and a great privilege, but this is the right time for me and my family to look to a new opportunity of service. I look forward with relish to continuing to serve the nation in a new capacity.”