Newly minted PM, Scott Morrison, has appointed Paul Fletcher to the role of minister for communications and the arts in his reshuffled cabinet.
Fletcher replaces the outgoing minister, Senator Mitch Fifield, who is moving to New York following his appointment as Australia’s Ambassador to the United Nations.
Formerly the director of corporate and regulatory affairs at Optus, Fletcher became a parliamentarian for the safe Liberal seat of Bradfield in 2009.
He served as parliamentary secretary to Turnbull when he was minister for communications from 2013 to 2015.
Commenting on Fletcher’s appointment, a spokesperson for the 10 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.”
Bridget Fair, CEO of Free TV Australia said: “Paul Fletcher is an inspired choice for this portfolio. He is outstandingly well qualified and I warmly congratulate him on his appointment.
“It is hard to imagine anyone better suited to take on the challenges in the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors at this challenging time of great change. Minister Fletcher’s thoughtful and considered approach to policy development will stand us all in good stead and Free TV looks forward to working closely with him in the years ahead on the important issues facing the broadcasting industry.”
Joan Warner, the chief executive officer of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, added: “The industry congratulates Minister Fletcher on his appointment. We enjoyed working with the new Minister when he was the Parliamentary Secretary to Malcolm Turnbull in 2015 and look forward to working closely with him once again.
“We will be looking to meet soon with Minister Fletcher to discuss a broad range of policy issues impacting on commercial radio including the regulatory inequalities that exist between commercial radio and the digital platforms.
“This includes the removal of the outdated election advertising blackout rule, stronger protections for the removal of copyright infringing material and other issues outlined in the ACCC inquiry,” Warner said.