06 May 2011

Australian Government reveals latest legislative priorities for telecommunications and media

by Kate Jordan, Jim FitzSimons, Toby Ryston-Pratt, Bruce Lloyd, Mary Still

The Prime Minister has released the list of legislation proposed for introduction in the Winter sittings of Federal Parliament, starting Tuesday 10 May. Bills with an asterisk are Government priorities. Relevant Bills in the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors are:

Broadcasting Services Amendment (Anti-siphoning) Bill *

As we discussed last year, the Government is reforming the anti-siphoning scheme. This Bill will bring about those reforms.

Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Regional Commercial Radio Local Content) Bill

This Bill will modify local content requirements on regional commercial radio licensees, and reduce their compliance burden with respect to maintaining existing levels of local presence, and broadcasting material of local significance.

Broadcasting Services Amendment (Media Access) Bill

This main purpose of this Bill is to amend the television captioning requirements in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

USO Entity Bill
Telecommunications Legislation Amendment Bill
Telecommunications Industry Levy Bill

This package of Bills will

  • establish a Government entity for delivering the Universal Service Obligation
  • establish the USO framework; and
  • revise current industry level arrangements so that industry contributes to the full range of USO functions

Communications (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill

This Bill will make two sets of changes. The first relates to submarine cables under Schedule 3A of the Telecommunications Act 1997 and other issues arising from the recent review of Schedule 3A by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The second updates the reference in the Radiocommunications Act 1992 to the Western Australian anti-corruption body listed and the WA legislation under which the body is established.

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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.