Sunday, 26 May 2019 18:42

New comms minister Fletcher says completing NBN rollout a priority Featured

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New comms minister Fletcher says completing NBN rollout a priority Courtesy paulfletcher.com.au/

Newly appointed Communications Minister Paul Fletcher says one of his key priorities will be completing the rollout of the national broadband network.

Fletcher was appointed as Minister of Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts in the new Coalition Government, the portfolios for which were announced on Sunday.

A former senior executive with telco Singtel Optus, Fletcher takes over from Mitch Fifield who finds no place in the ministry.

Regarding Fletcher's appointment, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "As the national broadband network nears full rollout and social media becomes an even more prominent front in the fight to keep Australians safe, Paul Fletcher, as Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, brings extensive experience and insight to the task."

In a statement, Fletcher said he was deeply honoured to be appointed to the post.

"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," he said.

"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."

Fletcher said 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."

He said he was also delighted that his portfolio included 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," Fletcher added.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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