Paul Fletcher MP

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Last year Broadband and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy set an extremely high reserve price for the forthcoming auction of key radio frequency spectrum.

The UK has just completed an auction of similar spectrum – and the result there suggests that the auction in Australia will fall a long way short of Conroy’s expectations.

Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy has made a strident attack on Vodafone Australia and its chief executive Bill Morrow – in a prepared speech he gave at a mobile phone industry function at Parliament House. Here is how the Australian Financial Review reported it last Friday:

In May 2012 a parliamentary committee issued a report about the collapse of funds manager Trio – in which over 6000 Australian superannuation and other investors were defrauded of $176 million.

Disturbingly, eight months later, there has still been no response from the government.

I use the North Shore line trains fairly regularly to travel from my electorate office in Lindfield into the city, and back.

The decision by Prime Minister Gillard to parachute in Nova Peris as the Labor Party’s number one Senate candidate in the Northern Territory reflects poorly on the Labor Party – and emphasises what a poor job Labor has done in drawing on the talent and capacities of indigenous Australians as parliamentarians.

In saying this I make no criticism of Nova Peris, who is widely respected as a highly successful sportswoman and an articulate and capable Australian.

Today we learned that the Gillard Government has moved $375 million out of foreign aid spending and towards paying for the cost of the asylum seeker program.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr says that this is nothing to worry about, offering a legalistic argument that “money spent on refugees within a country is legitimate aid” and citing an OECD definition to that effect.

Friday, 23 November 2012 00:00

The Greens and GetUp

The recent announcement that former national director of GetUp, Simon Sheikh, is to seek preselection as a Greens Party Senate candidate is no great surprise.

Those who take at face value GetUp’s claims that it is not aligned with any one political party might be a bit taken aback. (Its website claims that ‘GetUp does not back any particular party…’)

Paul appeared on Ross Greenwood's 'Money News' on 2GB to discuss Online Safety for children and young people as well as Labor's abandonement of their Mandatory Internet Filter policy.

Last Friday I was a speaker in the final panel session at the Melbourne Institute ‘Securing the Future’ conference, along with prominent economist Judith Sloan and fellow MP Andrew Leigh, the Labor Member for Fraser (in the ACT) and former ANU economist.   This extremely important conference, sponsored by The Australian, attracted a heavyweight collection of policymakers, academics, officials and business people as speakers and participants.

Last night was another in the regular series of appearances by NBN CEO Mike Quigley before the Parliament’s NBN Joint Committee. This is supposed to be a mechanism for the Parliament, on behalf of taxpayers, to oversee the public investment being made in the national broadband network. The stakes are high: already taxpayers have pumped $2.7 billion into the government owned NBN Co and will be up for over $40 billion by 2021.

Authorised by Paul Fletcher MP, Level 2, 280 Pacific Highway Lindfield NSW 2070.

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