04 Mar 2010

Media and communications sector reform means industry leadership critical

Sydney: 4 March 2010: The central role of media and communications in Australian society and the economy and the pace of technological change in these sectors means there will be an even greater need in the future for leadership in industry education, regulatory policy debate and legal reform, according to Clayton Utz partner Caroline Lovell.

Speaking last night at the launch of the University of Technology Sydney's Communications Law Centre (CLC), held at Clayton Utz in Sydney, Ms Lovell – a director of the CLC Ltd and joint head of Clayton Utz' Telecommunications, Media and Technology practice – said the CLC would have an increasingly important role to play in encouraging and leading public debate on media and communication issues as well as promoting leading research and education.

The CLC is an independent, not-for-profit public interest centre specialising in communications, media and online law and policy. Originally established in 1988, at the University of NSW, the CLC is now a centre associated with the University of Technology Sydney's Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

The Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy MLC, officially launched the CLC at Clayton Utz following a panel discussion on the Federal Government's National Broadband Network project.

"Clayton Utz is proud of its long association with the CLC, which for many years has been a leader in research, teaching and public debate about media and communications issues in Australia," said Ms Lovell.

"We anticipate that the CLC's leadership in these areas will become increasingly important in the coming decade as the media and communications sectors continue to undergo change and regulatory reform. One of the most significant developments is of course the National Broadband Network, which is now one step closer with the Federal Government's release of exposure drafts of legislation for the ownership and governance of the National Broadband Network Company and access to the services it will provide."

Ms Lovell led the firm's team that advised the Federal Government on its agreement with NextGen Networks, announced in December 2009, to construct new broadband backbone infrastructure under the $250 million Regional Backbone Blackspots Program.

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