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Monday, 9 December 2002
Page: 7368

Senator CHERRY (1:05 PM) —The Democrats will also be supporting this amendment, and we note that it has been developed after discussions between the government and the other parties. It allows the ACA to provide exemptions for small prospective carriers to provide IDPs when they are seeking a licence. This makes the exemption provisions consistent with those that apply to existing carriers. The exemptions will be set out in a ministerial instrument and the current thresholds are expected to total annual revenue below $5 million and annual capital expenditure below $20 million. A further category of exempted carriers covers those whose services primarily relate to research or educational institutions. The Democrats understand that as a consequence there will be around 15 to 25 IDPs, including renewals, requiring approval by the minister each year. We further note that the proposed new section 15A, subsections (4) to (7) inclusive, provides for the ACA to verify that prospective and current carriers meet and continue to meet the conditions of the exemptions as determined. These are prudent amendments.