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NBN Opponent Set To Oversee NBN As New Comms Minister

It’s what Canberra watchers call – with eyebrows raised – an “interesting” appointment. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has chosen Paul Fletcher – a former Pom and long-term opponent of the National Broadband Network as Minister for Communications: a role in which he will now oversee not only the NBN but also the ABC and SBS.

Interesting indeed … watch this space.

PM Scott Morrison

Fletcher replaces Mitch Fifield, one of the ministers closely involved in the successful putsch to jettison Malcolm Turnbull as PM and replace him with Scott Morrison. (Mitch now scores the reward of being posted as Australia’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York).

Paul Fletcher is not perhaps the liveliest or most entertaining speaker in the House of Representatives – many journos remember only too well sitting through a very lengthy and utterly unmemorable speech he gave at one of Phil Sim’s IT Journo events a few years ago – but he is a learned chap and buried somewhere in his head is quite a bit of information about the comms industries (which hasn’t always been the case with Liberal comms ministers).

Fletcher was born in England but later renounced his citizenship in order to become an Oz and enter parliament.

He has worked in senior roles at Optus, including director of corporate and regulatory affairs. And before that, he was chief of staff to a former Comms Minister Richard Alston.

Fletcher has also worked as a lawyer at legal firm Mallesons Stephen Jacques, and as a corporate strategy wrangler at TNT.

As for how he’ll get on in the rundown to the end of construction of the NBN and what may lie ahead for that organisation, we shall just have to wait and see.

Paul Fletcher

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