news As first reported by Communications Day, Telecommunications sector veteran David Havyatt has been appointed temporary special advisor to Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy starting today.
The executive’s LinkedIn profile shows that he is currently the Principal at Havyatt Associates Pty Ltd, his own telecommunications regulatory and public affairs consultancy, and an analyst at DigEcon Research, which is the research wing of Havyatt Associates specializing in policy issues associated with the digital economy. He has also been Assistant Secretary at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
Havyatt has rich experience in corporate positions at AAPT, Hutchison Telecommunications, Telstra and Unwired Australia (now Vividwireless). He brings to his new role a great depth of knowledge of the communications sector, having served on the boards of the Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF), the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), and chaired the Endeavour Credit Union. He has also been a parliamentary candidate for the Australian Democrats.
Havyatt has been known to be a straight shooter who does not mince words. In an ITNews column in September this year, he was vocal in his censuring of the Telecommunications Amendment Bill 2011 in which Senator Brown is proposing a restriction on the construction of mobile towers. Indicating that the new position would call for a more politically correct stance, Havyatt admits in his farewell post on his outspoken blog Anything Goes that, “Writing a blog is inconsistent with the role.”
Havyatt Associates provides services on regulatory policies, regulatory affairs, compliance and disputes, and it is this expertise that Conroy would want to tap into to help set new regulatory standards in the digital era.
David Havyatt is one of the executives that I most respect in Australia’s telecommunications sector. He knows virtually everything and everyone, and has, in the past half-decade that I’ve seen in him in action, never been afraid to speak his mind about everything going on. What’s more, he has a fine, analytical mind and a scalpel-like wit, which he regularly applies to topics ranging across the whole telco sector and beyond — especially into lefty politics.
Will he be able to continue speaking the truth as he’s working alongside our sometimes-feisty and demanding Communications Minister? It’ll be interesting to see how things go. Personally I wouldn’t have picked Havyatt as someone that Conroy would hire, but then again, he’s dealing with some fairly complex issues at the moment — issues that Havyatt has a deep understanding of.
Image credit: David Havyatt. Opinion/analysis by Renai LeMay