Coonan retains Communications in new Howard Ministry

In a reshaping of his fourth term ministry, Prime Minister John Howard has retained Helen Coonan as Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, and Senator Rod Kemp will remain as junior minister in that portfolio with responsibility for Arts and Sport.

Senator Coonan performed well in the recent election, and also impressed media organisations with her quick grasp of broadcast policy. She is said to have lobbied various players for their support to continue in the portfolio.

From the middle of next year, the Coalition is set to control the Senate and, at that time, is likely to drive through the thrice rejected new media legislation, which may open up opportunities for foreign and cross media ownership as well as tackle the difficult to regulate digital media area.

In keeping with Coalition promises before the election, digital radio, funding for community radio and expansion of ABC NewsRadio and Local Radio are expected to be immediately on the agenda.

For a full list of John Howard’s fourth term Ministry click below.

John Howard has announced major changes to the public service after revealing his new Ministry.

Among them, three secretaries have had their terms extended, including Helen Williams in Communications.