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Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Page: 2221


Senator CONROY (VictoriaMinister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity) (11:30): I can confirm that the first two groups of amendments, as I said, were recommended, which would, by definition, suggest that the third group were not.

The CHAIRMAN: The time allotted for the consideration of these bills has expired. Is it the wish of the committee that the statement of reasons accompanying the requests be incorporated in Hansard immediately after the requests to which it relates? It is so ordered. In respect of Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency Bill 2011 the question is that amendments (1) and (4) to (8) and requests for amendment (2) and (3) on sheet BE262 circulated by the government be agreed to:

(1)   Clause 4, page 8 (after line 22), after the definition of telecommunications industry, insert:

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has the same meaning as in the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999.

(2)   Clause 4, page 9 (after line 2), after the definition of vacancy, insert:

voice customer migration policy objective means the policy objective set out in paragraph 11(e), in so far as that objective relates to either or both of the following:

   (a)   customer information programs;

   (b)   customer cabling installation programs.

(3)   Page 25 (after line 26), after Division 4, insert:

Division 4A—Facilitation of the voice customer migration policy objective

Subdivision A—Access to information or documents held by a carriage service provider

29A Access to information or documents held by a carriage service provider

Scope

(1)   This section applies to a carriage service provider if TUSMA believes on reasonable grounds that the carriage service provider has information or a document that is relevant to the achievement of the voice customer migration policy objective.

Requirement

(2)   TUSMA may, by written notice given to the carriage service provider, require the carriage service provider:

   (a)   to give to TUSMA, within the period and in the manner and form specified in the notice, any such information; or

   (b)   to produce to TUSMA, within the period and in the manner specified in the notice, any such documents; or

   (c)   to make copies of any such documents and to produce to TUSMA, within the period and in the manner specified in the notice, those copies.

(3)   A period specified under subsection (2) must not be shorter than 14 days after the notice is given.

Compliance

(4)   A carriage service provider must comply with a requirement under subsection (2) to the extent that the carriage service provider is capable of doing so.

(5)   A carriage service provider commits an offence if:

   (a)   TUSMA has given a notice to the carriage service provider under subsection (2); and

   (b)   the carriage service provider engages in conduct; and

   (c)   the carriage service provider's conduct contravenes a requirement in the notice.

Penalty for contravention of this subsection: 50 penalty units.

29B Copying documents—compensation

      A carriage service provider is entitled to be paid by TUSMA reasonable compensation for complying with a requirement covered by paragraph 29A(2)(c).

29C Copies of documents

(1)   TUSMA may:

   (a)   inspect a document or copy produced under subsection 29A(2); and

   (b)   make and retain copies of, or take and retain extracts from, such a document.

(2)   TUSMA may retain possession of a copy of a document produced in accordance with a requirement covered by paragraph 29A(2)(c).

29D TUSMA may retain documents

(1)   TUSMA may take, and retain for as long as is necessary, possession of a document produced under subsection 29A(2).

(2)   The carriage service provider otherwise entitled to possession of the document is entitled to be supplied, as soon as practicable, with a copy certified by TUSMA to be a true copy.

(3)   The certified copy must be received in all courts and tribunals as evidence as if it were the original.

(4)   Until a certified copy is supplied, TUSMA must, at such times and places as TUSMA thinks appropriate, permit the carriage service provider otherwise entitled to possession of the document, or a person authorised by that carriage service provider, to inspect and make copies of, or take extracts from, the document.

29E Law relating to legal professional privilege not affected

      This Subdivision does not affect the law relating to legal professional privilege.

Subdivision B—Disclosure of information

29F Disclosure of information

Scope

(1)   This section applies to information that:

   (a)   was obtained by TUSMA under section 29A; or

   (b)   is contained in a document, or a copy of a document, that was produced to TUSMA under section 29A.

Disclosure

(2)   TUSMA may disclose the information to a carriage service provider if the disclosure is for a purpose relating to the achievement of the voice customer migration policy objective.

Subdivision C—Consent to customer contact

29G Consent to customer contact

Scope

(1)   This section applies to a carriage service provider if:

   (a)   TUSMA believes on reasonable grounds that, if the carriage service provider were to consent to another person (the third person) contacting:

      (i)   the carriage service provider's customers; or

      (ii)   customers included in a particular class of the carriage service provider's customers;

      for a purpose relating to the achievement of the voice customer migration policy objective, that consent would be likely to facilitate the achievement of the voice customer migration policy objective; and

   (b)   the carriage service provider is not a contractor in relation to a section 13 contract entered into for a purpose relating to the achievement of the voice customer migration policy objective; and

   (c)   the carriage service provider is not a grant recipient in relation to a section 13 grant made for a purpose relating to the achievement of the voice customer migration policy objective.

Requirement

(2)   TUSMA may, by written notice given to the carriage service provider, require the carriage service provider:

   (a)   to consent to the third person contacting:

      (i)   if subparagraph (1)(a)(i) applies—the carriage service provider's customers; or

      (ii)   if subparagraph (1)(a)(ii) applies—customers included in a specified class of the carriage service provider's customers;

      for a purpose relating to the achievement of the voice customer migration policy objective; and

   (b)   to do so within the period and in the manner specified in the notice.

(3)   A period specified under subsection (2) must not be shorter than 14 days after the notice is given.

Compliance

(4)   A carriage service provider must comply with a requirement under subsection (2).

(5)   A carriage service provider commits an offence if:

   (a)   TUSMA has given a notice to the carriage service provider under subsection (2); and

   (b)   the carriage service provider engages in conduct; and

   (c)   the carriage service provider's conduct contravenes a requirement in the notice.

Penalty for contravention of this subsection: 50 penalty units.

(4)   Clause 38, page 30 (line 2), omit paragraph (2)(d), substitute:

   (d)   consumer affairs;

(5)   Heading to clause 122, page 73 (line 3), omit "the ACMA and the ACCC", substitute "certain bodies or persons".

(6)   Clause 122, page 73 (line 5), omit "authorities", substitute "bodies or persons".

(7)   Clause 122, page 73 (lines 6 and 7), omit "authority to perform or exercise any of its functions or powers", substitute "body or person to perform or exercise any of the functions or powers of the body or person".

(8)   Clause 122, page 73 (line 9), at the end of subclause (1), add:

   ; (c)   the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman;

   (d)   the Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee;

   (e)   the Secretary of the Department.

The statement of reasons read as follows—

Statement of reasons: why certain amendments should be moved as requests

Section 53 of the Constitution is as follows:

Powers of the Houses in respect of legislation

53. Proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys, or imposing taxation, shall not originate in the Senate. But a proposed law shall not be taken to appropriate revenue or moneys, or to impose taxation, by reason only of its containing provisions for the imposition or appropriation of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment or appropriation of fees for licences, or fees for services under the proposed law.

The Senate may not amend proposed laws imposing taxation, or proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government.

The Senate may not amend any proposed law so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people.

The Senate may at any stage return to the House of Representatives any proposed law which the Senate may not amend, requesting, by message, the omission or amendment of any items or provisions therein. And the House of Representatives may, if it thinks fit, make any of such omissions or amendments, with or without modifications.

Except as provided in this section, the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws.

Amendment (3)

The effect of clause 29B of the amendment is to provide for compensation to be paid to carriage service providers for providing copies of documents to TUSMA. It is covered by section 53 because the compensation will be paid out of the Telecommunications Universal Service Special Account established by clause 84 of the Bill, with those payments being made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund under the standing appropriation in section 21 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997.

Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency Bill 2011

SHEET BE262

Statement by the Clerk of the Senate pursuant to the order of the Senate of 26 June 2000

Amendment (3)

The stated effect of subclause 29B contained in this amendment is to provide for compensation payments to be made to certain carriage service providers when they are required to provide copies of documents to the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency in relation to the proposed voice customer migration policy. Although the decision to make such a payment would be subject to a decision by the Agency, if such a payment is made, the increased expenditure would be met directly from the standing appropriation contained in clause 84 of the bill.

The Senate has long followed the practice that it should treat as requests amendments which would clearly, necessarily and directly result in increased expenditure under a standing appropriation. If, as stated, this amendment would result in increased expenditure under the standing appropriation in clause 84 of the bill, it is in accordance with the precedents of the Senate that this amendment be moved as a request.

Amendment (2)

Amendment (2) is consequential on the request. It is the practice of the Senate that amendments purely consequential on amendments framed as requests may also be framed as requests.

Question agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to, subject to requests.

The CHAIRMAN: In respect of the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Universal Service Reform) Bill 2011 the question is that amendment (1) on sheet BL246 circulated by the government be agreed to:

(1)   Schedule 1, page 8 (after line 27), after item 28, insert:

28A Section 284 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

284 Assisting the ACMA, the ACCC, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman or TUSMA

28B At the end of section 284

Add:

(4)   Sections 276 and 277 do not prohibit a disclosure by a person of information or a document if:

   (a)   the disclosure is made to, or to a member of the staff of, TUSMA; and

   (b)   the information or document may assist TUSMA to carry out its functions or powers.

28C Section 299 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

299 Assisting the ACMA, the ACCC, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman or TUSMA

28D At the end of section 299 (before the note)

Add:

(4)   If information or a document is disclosed to a person as permitted by subsection 284(4) or this subsection, the person must not disclose or use the information or document except for the purpose of, or in connection with, the carrying out of TUSMA's functions and powers.

28E Section 299 (note)

Omit "or the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman", substitute ", the Telecom­munications Industry Ombudsman or TUSMA".

Question agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN: The question now is that the Telecommunications (Industry Levy) Bill 2011 be agreed to without requests or amendments.

Bill agreed to.

Senator Ian Macdonald: On a point of order, as I understand the motions dealing with 'time management', this bill was supposed to start at 11 am. It did not start until about two minutes past. I know Senator Fisher has some other questions she would like to ask. Are we allowed to have the extra two minutes, or what is the ruling where there is a specific time when this bill is to start and it did not? Do we just ignore those two minutes or is this something that the movers of the motion did not contemplate? I am curious as to how we have not started in accordance with the motion agreed to as to time?

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Senator Macdonald, my understanding is that the order passed by resolution of the Senate fixing the hours for today also incorporates the existing standing order of the commencement of the day where prayers take place. I do not believe there was any scope for additional time to be added. You have raised that matter. If anything else needs to be added, the President or I will report back to the chamber.

Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency Bill 2011 reported with amendments and requests; Telecom­munications Legislation Amendment (Universal Service Reform) Bill 2011 reported with an amendment; Telecom­munications (Industry Levy) Bill 2011 reported without amendment; report adopted.