blog Those of you who’ve been around the traps for a while may recall the name of Stephen Ellis. Ellis was, for some years, a senior advisor to Malcolm Turnbull, in his roles as Shadow Communications Minister and then as Communications Minister in Tony Abbott’s Coalition Government from September 2013.
In Opposition, Ellis appears to have been the key figure behind the Coalition’s controversial Fibre to the Node-based approach to the National Broadband Network. And in Government, Ellis appears to have been one of the key figures in Turnbull’s Ministerial office who helped make that policy become reality at the NBN company.
He was also notable for two further reasons. Firstly, Ellis achieved notoriety in mid-2013 when he sent a foul-mouthed email telling popular local NBN blogger Steve Jenkin to “get fucked” and accusing him of publishing “psychotic rantings” about the Coalition’s NBN policy. The worm turned on Ellis in Turnbull’s office, however — last year the advisor was charged with possessing drugs at Canberra Airport and committing an act of indecency. He subsequently resigned from his role. He has pleaded no guilty, and the case is ongoing.
Now, according to The Age newspaper (we recommend you click here for the full article), Ellis has been hired by Telstra. The newspaper reports:
A spokeswoman for Telstra confirmed on Thursday that Mr Ellis has been employed by the telco giant. “We have engaged Mr Ellis as a consultant on a specific project to advise Telstra on longer term policy reform options. We will not be commenting further,” the spokeswoman wrote in an email to Fairfax Media.
I don’t have much that I would be able to say in print about this situation — although I’m sure many of you could imagine what might be running through my head. But I will say that the Australian telecommunications industry is sometimes a rather fascinating old place, where the most fascinating things can happen.
Image credit: Telstra