House of Reps

Paul Fletcher

Fletcher safe in Bradfield

Jul 01, 2016Selin Kement, Rosemary Hill
Mr Paul Fletcher, photograph the Liberal Party

Candidate Snapshot

Party: LP
Electorate: Bradfield
First Stood in this Electorate: 2009

Bradfield may be a safe seat but local MP Paul Fletcher says he is keen to ensure residents get their share of infrastructure, economic growth, transport improvements and support for small business.

Mr Fletcher has told the North Shore Times the Turnbull Government is committed to major infrastructure projects for the region.  

These include the NorthConnex, “which will take through-traffic off local roads, and the Sydney Metro, which will open up capacity on the north shore train line,” the Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government is quoted as saying.

Although Mr Fletcher predicted Hornsby at the northern end of Bradfield had a head start in the rollout of the National Broadband Network, the suburb is now reportedly expected not to receive it until 2018.

Mr Fletcher has long been an advocate of the NBN as a driver of economic and social benefits, so much so that he wrote a book Wired Brown Land about broadband which was published in 2009 by UNSW press.

Mr Fletcher endorses the Coalition’s policies on small businesses, saying on Sky News recently “we want to encourage businesses to grow and we want to create a favourable policy environment for jobs and growth.

"That’s why we’ve got a policy to reduce the company tax rate and to extend the number of companies who can get access to that reduced company tax rate,” he said.

Mr Fletcher is not without critics, Gerard Hosier of Killara recently wrote in a letter to the North Shore Times about forced council mergers saying that “the very safe Paul Fletcher MP of Bradfield, cannot even be bothered to respond to one of their electorate”.  

Mr Hosier wrote “Our Federal Government is very proactive promoting democracy beyond our borders. However the silence is stunning at a local government level. Councils such as Ku-ring-gai and Lane Cove are possibly about to have their elected representatives overthrown and have the equivalent of an unelected junta installed for over a year.”

UniPollWatch asked Mr Fletcher to comment on the NSW Government’s decision to hold back the merger of Ku-ring-gai with Hornsby Council but he has been unavailable for comment.   

Mr Fletcher says on his website that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has put forward the Commonwealth’s Smart Cities State Plan which aims to deliver jobs closer to home, affordable housing, better transport connections and a healthier environment.

“By increasing the supply of housing we can address one of the greatest financial issues of our times for most families - housing affordability,” Mr Fletcher says.

Mr Fletcher has been a member of the Liberal party since he was 16. He lives in Roseville with his wife Manuela, stepson Gabriel and son Hugo.

He has held Bradfield since the 2009 by-election which followed the resignation of former Liberal leader Dr Brendan Nelson who had held Bradfield since 1996.

Mr Fletcher was re-elected in 2010 and, at the 2013 election, he retained the seat with 57,506 first-preference count votes. The Labor Party candidate contesting the seat in 2013 received the second highest count with just 14,702. A seemingly impossible 21 per cent swing is needed for the Liberal MP to be ousted.

Green candidate, Adrian Jones, told UniPollWatch, “I don’t think anyone will overcome that swing.”

Mr Fletcher has served as Parliamentary Secretary to former Minister for Communications Richard Alston and also as Chief of Staff to Mr Alston during the Howard Government.

Prior to entering Parliament, Mr Fletcher was Director, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Optus for eight years.

Earlier in his life, Mr Fletcher earned a double first class honours degree in law and economics from the University of Sydney and an MBA from Colombia University in New York, where he was a Fulbright scholar.

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Editing by Catriona Bonfiglioli

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