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New minister for SBS

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP is now Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts. He is the Member for Bradfield in Sydney.

Fletcher is no newbie to communications having advised in policy development under former Senator, The Hon Richard Alston, then communications minister from 1996 to 2003 in the Howard Liberal government.

‘I am deeply honoured to be appointed as Minister for Communications, Cybersafety and the Arts’, said Fletcher, in a media release. In discussing communications, Fletcher made an important reference to the ‘social contribution’ of communications, a point rarely if ever articulated by his predecessors.

Curiously, the new Minister made no mention of SBS, although in 2011 – then in Opposition – he led the way in the formation of the Parliamentary Friends of SBS with Labor’s Steve Georganas, and Green’s Senator Scott Ludlam.

The establishment of the parliamentary friendship group aligns with Fletcher’s views as stated his 2010 parliamentary Maiden Speech where he talked of the importance of immigration and breaking down social barriers. Fletcher said, ‘I want to help make Australia a fairer, stronger, more prosperous, more secure, [and] more inclusive nation.’

Fletcher has first class honours degrees in law and economics from the University of Sydney, and from Columbia University an MBA.

He worked at Mallesons Stephen Jaques as a solicitor, and at Optus for seven years before penning his book, Wired Brown Land: Telstra’s Battle for Broadband.

Fletcher was first elected to parliament in a 2009 by-election and was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications from 2013 to 2015.

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