• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Monday, September 16, 2013 16:48 - 15 Comments

    Fletcher to assist Turnbull with NBN


    news As expected, Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has named Malcolm Turnbull as incoming Communications Minister in his new cabinet, additionally appointing Liberal MP and former Optus executive Paul Fletcher as a parliamentary secretary to assist the Member for Wentworth in dealing with the communications portfolio.

    In a statement released this afternoon, Abbott said: “The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP as Minister for Communications will deliver a new business plan for the NBN so that we can deliver fast broadband sooner and at less cost. Mr Paul Fletcher MP will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications.”

    Other notable appointments included the appointment of George Brandis as Attorney-General, and Mathias Cormann as Finance Minister. Both positions deal extensively with the technology sector; the Attorney-General having responsibility for overseeing the surveillance operations of law enforcement agencies and dealing with copyright issues, and the Finance Minister having oversight of the Government’s centralised IT decision-making public servants, as well as fulfilling a role as the second shareholder minister to NBN Co. Michael Ronaldson will also have some oversight over the split operations of the Australian Government Information Management Office, as Special Minister of State.

    Abbot has abolished a number of technology-related ministries created under the previous Rudd and Gillard Labor administrations. For example, no minister dealing with rural telecommunications will be appointed, although Luke Hartsuyker had held the role as Shadow Minister when Abbott was Opposition Leader. Senator Kate Lundy’s role of Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy has been axed, and the innovation portfolio moved under the remit of Industry, led by Ian Macfarlane.

    “The simplification of ministerial and departmental titles reflects my determination to run a “back to basics” government,” said Abbott. “The Australian people expect a government that is upfront, speaks plainly and does the essentials well. The Cabinet will be assisted by a strong team of ministers with proven capacity to implement the Government’s policies. Parliamentary secretaries will assist senior ministers and be under their direction.”

    “This is an experienced and talented team. It will deliver results for the Australian people from day one.” The new Abbott ministry is expected to be sworn in on Wednesday.

    Everything pretty much as expected, although the appointment of Fletcher to the Parliamentary Secretary role will be controversial, given the Member for Bradfield’s gaffe regarding the Coalition’s Internet filter policy during the campaign.

    Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull

    submit to reddit


    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

    1. tinman_au
      Posted 16/09/2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Oh, crap…

      Still, looking on the bright side, Paul might forget they are doing FTTN and put FTTP on all the documents…

    2. bern
      Posted 16/09/2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Back to basics?

      So we really are going back to the 1980s (or earlier), then, when boys were boys, men were men, and this pesky internet thing was only something used by geeky uni students to share Star Trek jokes…

      • Simon Reidy
        Posted 16/09/2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

        That “back to basics”line make me want to puke. He’s abolished some of the most important portfolios we had in his quest to minimise government. There’s not even a minister for science (but of course there’s one for sport!) That truly is just a ‘basic government’.

        • jasmcd
          Posted 17/09/2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink | Reply

          Calling them a “basic” government is not very PC, they prefer to be called “special”.

      • Duke
        Posted 17/09/2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink | Reply

        well, at least we won’t need to complain about someone like Kate Lundy being under utilised in tech areas… there is only one tech area now, and there are no women in the coalition who know how to access the internet… actually there are no women in the coalition who know what the internet is, just ask Tony, who is no Bill Gates…

    3. Goresh
      Posted 16/09/2013 at 6:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      “For example, no minister dealing with rural telecommunications will be appointed”

      Since when has anything in rural areas been of the slightest interest to the coalition.

      The National Party exists as a cynical sop to country folk who can pat themselves on the back for voting conservative regardless of the fact that the N in LNP hasn’t stood up for a single rural issue in decades now. If they had, their wouldn’t have been that pool of ex-National Party independents there after the last election to support Labor.

      • tinman_au
        Posted 17/09/2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink | Reply

        Since when has anything in rural areas been of the slightest interest to the coalition.

        True that. Some of the biggest gains by the Greens in recent years has been in the bush, and I guess it makes some sense when you see farmers and environmentalists getting together to stop CSG.

    4. Duke
      Posted 17/09/2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink | Reply

      That pic is annoying… throw a tie on ’em and regress ’em a few years and you would have the classic assistant head prefect (bit of a bully and headmasters yes man) and the assistant senior (not good enough for prefect but expert at toadying up to the asst. head prefect and dobbing in smaller boys)… annoying but actually rather apt, actually…

    5. edge81
      Posted 17/09/2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink | Reply

      Isn’t this the same Paul Fletcher who is ex-optus, wrote “Wired Brown Land”, hates the way Telstra has been setup (private monopoly provider) and also worked under Richard Alston. Talk about mixed messages.

    6. Rohan
      Posted 17/09/2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’m waiting for Abbott to announce that the budgetary position is far worse than expected, blah blah blah, so that he can just cut things like the NBN and blame it on Labor’s economic waste and other bullshit.

    7. LolzInspector
      Posted 17/09/2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink | Reply

      In some ways it’d be better they did scrap it, as long as they left everything in tact that’s already established. Then in a few years or so when Labor gets back in the true NBN can be continued. Lets face it if they get their grubby hands on it they’ll botch it so bad it’ll probably end up in the scrap heap.

    8. Francis Young
      Posted 17/09/2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Mr Turnbull, as telco execs Ziggy Switkowski and Paul Fletcher receive a taxpayer leg-up from you, we can kiss goodbye to any hope of maintaining the restoration of customer-focussed comms infrastructure.

      We return to boardroom-focussed rewards, which was of course your primary focus since investing in Ozemail.

      Meanwhile, we learn that the seats of Indi, much of western Sydney and Queensland, which were in the bag for the Liberals, failed to materialise, along with a Senate majority, and that broadband policy was a key factor. That is democracy, Mr Turnbull.

      Now to economics. Having adopted a self-funding model (after protesting it for three years), you have proposed low-revenue copper instead of high-revenue fibre. Even before considering the opportunity cost of not providing high two-way bandwidth fibre to regional towns now, your FTTN project cannot pay for itself. Adding the cost of copper acquisition and remediation, it will be an albatross around Treasury’s neck, as will the overbuild with fibre in a few years. FTTN cannot self-fund. But at $38 ARPU, FTTP is already self-funding faster than forecast.

      How do you wish to go down in history, Mr Turnbull?

      • tinman_au
        Posted 17/09/2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Meanwhile, we learn that the seats of Indi, much of western Sydney and Queensland, which were in the bag for the Liberals, failed to materialise, along with a Senate majority, and that broadband policy was a key factor. That is democracy, Mr Turnbull.

        Indeed. I think if they had been bi-partisan on the FTTP NBN, they may have even had the landslide that they were hoping for…

    9. socrates
      Posted 17/09/2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      ‘Fletcher to assist Turnbull with NBN’

      You show a nice sense of double irony with that headline, Renai.

      Bugger it!!

    Leave a Comment


  • Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:

    Follow us on social media

    Use your RSS reader to subscribe to our articles feed or to our comments feed.

  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT

    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications

    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry

    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights