I am deeply honoured to be appointed Shadow Minister for Communications by the Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton.

As a member of shadow cabinet, I am delighted to take on this challenge in such an important portfolio. Accessible, efficient and affordable communications and connectivity are critical to the welfare and prosperity of all Australians. A free and vibrant Australian media sector is a fundamental tenet of the rule of law. Australian stories on our screens enrich social cohesion and our cultural identity.

Before politics, I spent most of my working life in the media and communications sector including as a TV journalist, programming executive and media lawyer.

As a regional senator, I am passionate about equitable access to communications infrastructure in rural and regional Australia. I am also deeply committed to keeping Australians safe online and to safeguarding the highest standards at our public broadcasters, ABC and SBS.

Whether it’s making the NBN available to 99 per cent of homes and business premises across Australia, funding more than 1,300 mobile base stations, supporting regional publishers or enhancing online safety, the Coalition did so much to transform our digital economy.

Labor, when last in government, connected just 51,000 users to the NBN and failed to fix a single mobile black spot. They are big on talk but not on delivery.

In our democracy, a strong and effective Opposition is vital. I look forward to bringing my broad experience, including working for the ABC and National Indigenous TV, to the shadow communications role and, together with my Coalition colleagues, holding the government to account and prosecuting alternate policies in the interests of all Australians.