Malcolm Turnbull knew who he wanted to appoint as Australia's next assistant health minister. But the problem was - how, when the man he sought was unplugged and flying to another hemisphere?
By
Andrea Booth

22 Sep 2015 - 10:33 AM  UPDATED 22 Sep 2015 - 3:44 PM

Newly sworn-in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was set on who he wanted to appoint as his assistant health minister late last week. The post had Nyoongar, Yamatji and Wongi man Ken Wyatt's name all over it.

But Mr Turnbull couldn't instate Mr Wyatt and release his new Cabinet until Mr Wyatt accepted the invitation, and he was soaring across the transpacific to Los Angeles on Quantas flight QF11 on Sunday.

So how did Mr Turnbull reach an unwired Mr Wyatt as he flew through the air miles high?

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The drama unfolded, as told in a piece by The Australian.

Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop was tasked with tracking down Mr Wyatt. She began by contacting Qantas government and international affairs manager Andrew Parker and informed him about the dilemma after he committed to confidentiality. 

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Mr Parker suggested government could contact Mr Wyatt through cell phone but that would require taking him to the cockpit, which would esculate into security implications.

Or, through the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System back on ground that can transmit messages to flight crew.

A message from the Australian Government was relayed to Mr Wyatt before he sent this back to earth: "Attention: Regarding PAX 12JWyatt. Please advise Prime Minister Turnbull the acceptance of the position," as quoted by The Australian.

Finally on solid ground, Mr Wyatt took the opportunity to make a public acceptance through his Facebook page.

Mr Turnbull welcomed Mr Wyatt, along with other newly elected ministers, through his own social media account.

"Ken Wyatt is the first Indigenous MP to be elevated to the Federal Executive Council, as assistant minister for health.

"The new Ministry shows the great talent and diversity we have in our government."