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Wednesday, 16 March 2005
Page: 49


Senator CHERRY (12:34 PM) I move Democrat amendment (9), as amended, on sheet 4543:

(9)    Schedule 1, page 5 (after line 21), before item 6, insert:

5A  At the end of subsection 4(2)

Add:

            ; and (d)   ensures fair and effective resolution of customer complaints.

This amends schedule 1 of the consequential and transitional provisions bill. This provision seeks to change the regulatory policy provision of the Broadcasting Services Act. Again, we seek to ensure that the fair and effective resolution of consumer complaints is part of the regulatory policy of the Broadcasting Services Act. It is interesting to see, when you look at the Broadcasting Services Act, that this matter is not dealt with anywhere. The objectives of the act seek to encourage the provision of means for addressing complaints about broadcasting services but do not seek to have them resolved. That is a flaw in the objectives clause of that bill, which would be fixed to a large degree by making it clear in the regulatory policy that promoting fair and effective resolution of customer complaints is part of the regulatory policy of the ACMA.

This would ensure the ACMA starts from day one with a clear statement from parliament that consumers have to be first and foremost in its considerations. It moves the regulatory policy of the Broadcasting Services Act only a few millimetres—but it is a few important millimetres—towards the resolution of complaints. That is something I think is appropriate to do in an act which is enacting a new authority with a clean piece of paper like this one.