So Senator Stephen Conroy is indeed back as part of the Labor shadow cabinet, but not in the role of Shadow Communications Minister and professional NBN expert. In the newly-announced shadow cabinet, he takes the role of minister for defence, as well as deputy leader of the Opposition in the Senate. So who gets the communications role and can look forward to parliamentary arguments with Malcolm Turnbull? The answer is . . .
Jason Clare, the member for Blaxland in NSW and the former Minister for Justice and Defence Materiel. He doesn’t seem to have said much about the NBN to date, so a rapid education would seem in order. Defence is a promotion in political terms, but it’s a shame Conroy won’t be taking part in the inevitable NBN battles to come following the strategic review.
Clare’s deputy will be Western Sydney MP Michelle Rowland, who reportedly has a strong knowledge of the NBN and had been tipped to spearhead the portfolio herself before today’s announcement.
Ed Husic has been shuffled away from a tech-centric portfolio into the position of Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Treasurer (Chris Bowen).