Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday revealed his new look ministry following his recent election victory.
Paul Fletcher (pictured) has been named the new Minister for Communications, Cybersafety and the Arts.
The outgoing comms minister, Senator Mitch Fifield, looks to be headed to New York. Morrison said Fifield should become Australia’s next ambassador to the United Nations.
“It was Mitch’s call about what he wanted to do. I would have been very happy for Mitch to continue to serve in communications and arts,” Morrison said yesterday.
Meanwhile Fletcher said yesterday:
“I am deeply honoured to be appointed as Minister for Communications, Cybersafety and the Arts.
“I have worked extensively in the communications sector since the mid-nineties – as a policy adviser, as a senior executive at Optus for eight years, as a consultant serving the sector, and more recently as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications from 2013 to 2015.
“The communications sector serves a vital human need – for people to communicate with each other – and makes a critical economic and social contribution to our nation. As Minister I will aim to take forward policy settings, which maximise this contribution.
“With many parts of the communications sector facing profound and continuing change, sound policy settings will be more important than ever.
“A key priority will be completing the rollout of the NBN. In 2013 we inherited a shambles from Labor with barely 50,000 premises connected to the fixed network.
“Today 9.28 million premises around Australia are able to connect to the NBN and almost 5.3 million premises are connected.
“Another priority will be to continue the Morrison Government’s work to make the internet a safer place for the millions of Australians who use it every day.
“I am also delighted that the portfolio includes responsibility for Australia’s vibrant and critically important arts sector. Australia’s performers and creative artists are world renowned – and make a profound contribution to our national identity.
“Our Liberal National Coalition has a strong track record in the Communications portfolio under my distinguished predecessor Ministers Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield and the Hon Malcolm Turnbull – and in the Howard Government years Senator the Hon Richard Alston, in whose office I served. I hope to be able to build on their achievements.