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Thursday, 24 March 2011
Page: 1864

Senator CONROY (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity) (9:33 AM) —We are just seeking some information. I am aware in other areas of my portfolio that ACMA and others have transition periods when people breach laws because they have made a merger or an acquisition and they are given a time period to unload assets that are in breach. Three months would probably be a fire sale circumstance—that is pretty much where you know from the day you have made the purchase. Six months it would be possible to contemplate, but 12 months was just felt to be a reasonable period. I suspect that ultimately the market—

Senator Birmingham —Why don’t you have six months?

Senator CONROY —As I said, after consultations we believe 12 months is an appropriate period. But let no-one be under any doubt: NBN Co. is not interested or has ultimately the capacity to become a retail company. Its internal systems are configured and designed to be a wholesale-only company. It will know from the moment it enters into a transaction that it has to off-load the retail component.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Hutchins)—The question is that opposition amendment (18) be agreed to.

Question negatived.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —The question now is that schedule 1 stand as printed.

Question agreed to.