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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2359


Mr FLETCHER (BradfieldMinister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities) (10:35): I present an amendment to the explanatory memorandum and a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill. I ask leave of the Federation Chamber to move government amendments (1) to (4) on sheet KN135, amendment (1) on sheet KN136 and amendments (1) and (2) on sheet GX170, as circulated, together.

Leave granted.

Mr FLETCHER: I move government amendments (1) to (4) on sheet KN135, amendment (1) on sheet KN136 and amendments (1) and (2) on sheet GX170, as circulated, together:

(1) Clause 2, page 2 (table), omit the table, substitute:

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1. The whole of this Act

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

(2) Schedule 3, heading to Part 2, page 16 (line 1), omit the heading, substitute:

Part 2—Further amendments

(3) Schedule 3, Part 2, heading to Division 1, page 16 (lines 2 to 5), omit the heading.

(4) Schedule 3, Part 2, Division 2, page 17 (line 14) to page 18 (line 26), omit the Division.

(1) Schedule 2, page 9 (line 1) to page 11 (line 13), omit the Schedule.

(1) Schedule 4, page 19 (after line 18), after item 5, insert:

Radiocommunications Taxes Collection Act 1983

5A Paragraph 10C(2 ) ( d)

After "transmitter licence", insert "during the financial year ending on 30 June 2017".

(2) Page 46 (after line 21), at the end of the Bill, add:

Schedule 9—Broadcasting licensee support payments

Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Act 2017

1 Item 40 of Schedule 6 (cell at table item 3, column headed " Company " )

Repeal the cell, substitute:

Network Investments Pty Ltd

2 At the end of Part 3 of Schedule 6

Add:

43 Modified operation of Part

This Part has effect in relation to Network Investments Pty Ltd (see table item 3 of the table in item 40) as if:

(a) the designated day for the financial year beginning on 1 July 2017 were the day that is 28 days after the day on which this item commences; and

(b) the reference to 1 November 2017 in subitem 39(2) were a reference to the day that is 28 days after the day on which this item commences.

At the outset, I thank the opposition for engaging constructively with the government on this bill and these government amendments. The proposed amendments on sheet KN135 will modify schedule 3 in the bill to align it with the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Misuse of Market Power) Act 2017. As introduced, the bill contained two sets of consequential amendments to part XIB of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 that were contingent on the commencement of the misuse of market power act. This was because, when the misuse of market power act was introduced as a bill into parliament, it proposed to amend the same provisions in part XIB as this bill. As the timing of the passage of the bills was uncertain, contingent amendments were included in the bill to address different timing scenarios.

The misuse of market power act was enacted in August 2017, with amendments such that it does not amend the same provisions in part XIB. As a result, the relevant consequential amendments in the bill are no longer contingent on the misuse of market power act. The amendments reflect the original intention of the bill to be aligned with the misuse of market power act.

The proposed amendment on sheet KN136 will remove schedule 2 from the bill. As introduced, schedule 2 streamlined two separate and distinct frameworks for the broadcasting complaints-handling and investigation functions of the Australian Communications and Media Authority, or ACMA, under the Broadcasting Services Act. Due to a recent Federal Court decision, the complaints-handling framework was found to unnecessarily duplicate the investigation framework. As a result, the government considered the complaints-handling framework redundant, and schedule 2 would have repealed the framework. The schedule also introduced minor consequential amendments to create a combined complaints-handling and investigation framework, which better reflected ACMA's current complaints-handling procedures.

A number of members of the broadcasting industry expressed concerns with the amendments contained in schedule 2. The opposition has also indicated concerns with this schedule. In order to not delay other, non-controversial, reform measures, the decision has been made to remove schedule 2 to the bill.

The proposed amendment on sheet GX170 will correct a provision of the Radiocommunications Taxes Collection Act 1983, which was inserted by the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Act 2017. The provision entitles a person to a pro rata refund of tax imposed on the issue of the transmitter licence if particular criteria are met. The intention is that the pro rata refund only apply to tax on transmitter licences paid in the financial year ending on 30 June 2017. However, this intention is not properly reflected in the provision and, if unamended, could result in higher payments to some commercial broadcasters than was intended. As such, the amendment will ensure that the provision operates as intended.

In addition, the proposed amendment on sheet GX 170 will replace Northern Rivers Television Pty Ltd with Network Investments Pty Ltd as a specified company eligible to receive a transitional support payment under the broadcasting reform act. This payment supports commercial broadcasters in transitioning from commercial broadcasting licence fees to the new spectrum tax. To be eligible for payment, recipients must hold a commercial television or radio broadcasting licence. However, on 1 June 2017, after the introduction of the relevant legislation, Northern Rivers transferred its commercial television broadcasting licence and assets to Network Investments, making it ineligible. The government was only made aware of this transfer after passage of the relevant legislation. The amendment will specify Network Investments Pty Ltd as an eligible company. This recognises that Network Investments held the relevant licence at the time of the passage of the broadcasting reform act and will ensure that it receives a transitional support payment to support the relevant broadcasting licence as intended. I commend the amendments to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Ordered that this bill be reported to the House with amendments.