28 Sep 2010

Federal Government's legislative plans for telecommunications

The Prime Minister has today released the list of legislation proposed for introduction in the Spring sittings starting. While copies are not yet available and they will only be made available if and when the Bills are introduced into Parliament, relevant Bills in the Broadcasting and Telco sectors are listed below.

Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Realising the Digital Dividend and Other Measures) Bill

  • amend broadcasting and radiocommunications legislation to facilitate a more spectrum efficient reorganisation of terrestrial digital television services by streamlining the planning and implementation processes in order to achieve a digital dividend
  • amend a range of other measures relating to digital television broadcasting and digital television switchover, including minor amendments to improve the operation of the digital television services provided by the satellite service licensed under section 38C of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

Reason for legislation: to enable the Government to achieve its digital dividend target of 126MHz of spectrum and enhance the regulatory regime applicable to digital television switchover and digital television services provided by satellite

National Broadband Network Companies Bill
Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network Measures – Access Arrangements) Bill

  • establish operating, ownership and governance arrangements for NBN Co Limited and amend the Trade Practices Act 1974 and the Telecommunications Act 1997 to establish regulatory arrangements for the provision of wholesale services by NBN Co Limited.

Reason for legislation: to implement the Government’s 7 April 2009 announcement on the National Broadband Network

National Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill

  • amend national broadcasting legislation to introduce a merit-based selection process for the appointment of non-executive directors to the ABC and SBS Boards;
  • reinstate the position of staff-elected Director on the ABC Board.

Reason for legislation: to implement the Government’s election commitment to improve governance on the Boards of the national broadcasters

Radiocommunications Amendment Bill

  • improve the efficiency of the radiofrequency spectrum management regulatory framework by providing the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) with greater flexibility in when it can commence processes for re-issuing spectrum licences;
  • allow the ACMA to issue class licences in the same spectrum space allocated or designated for spectrum licences (coexistence);
  • streamline the treatment of certain Ministerial determinations and directions made under the Act.

Reason for legislation: to implement the Minister’s announcement of 4 March 2010 on the Government’s approach to the reissue of current 15 year spectrum licences and make minor related amendments

Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill

  • reform the Australian telecommunications sector and establish the legislative framework for Telstra to voluntarily structurally separate.

Reason for legislation: to implement the National Broadband Network; to establish the legislative framework for Telstra to structurally separate by migrating its customers to the National Broadband Network; and to streamline the access and anti-competitive conduct regimes in the Trade Practices Act 1974 and strengthen existing consumer safeguards

Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Fibre Deployment) Bill

  • provide a framework for the installation of fibre to the premises in new real estate developments;
  • simplify the making of technical codes and standards relating to optical fibre infrastructure;
  • provide for an access regime for non-carrier passive infrastructure in new developments.

Reason for legislation: to implement the Government’s announcement of 7 April 2009 that it would legislate to require fibre to the premises to be installed in new developments

Telecommunications Interception and Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill

  • enable greater cooperation, assistance and information sharing within Australia’s law enforcement and national security communities.

Reason for legislation: to improve the operation of existing legislation.

Related Knowledge

Get in Touch

Get in touch information is loading


Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.