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Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009

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6084

2008-2009-2010

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009

 

 

(1)     Clause 2, page 2 (after table item 1), insert:

1A.  Schedule 1, Part 1A

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

[objects]

(2)     Page 4 (before line 2), before Part 1, insert:

Part 1A Objects

Telecommunications Act 1997

1A  At the end of subsection 3(1)

Add:

             ; and (c)  the availability of accessible and affordable carriage services that enhance the welfare of Australians.

[objects]

(3)     Schedule 1, item 21, page 8 (before line 33), before subsection 577A(4), insert:

          (3C)  Before making or varying an instrument under subsection (3), the Minister must:

                     (a)  cause to be published on the Department’s website a notice:

                              (i)  setting out the draft instrument or variation; and

                             (ii)  inviting persons to make submissions to the Minister about the draft instrument or variation within 14 days after the notice is published; and

                     (b)  consider any submissions received within the 14-day period mentioned in paragraph (a).

[undertaking about structural separation]

(4)     Schedule 1, item 21, page 10 (after line 8), after subsection 577B(5), insert:

          (5A)  Before making or varying an instrument under subsection (5), the Minister must:

                     (a)  cause to be published on the Department’s website a notice:

                              (i)  setting out the draft instrument or variation; and

                             (ii)  inviting persons to make submissions to the Minister about the draft instrument or variation within 14 days after the notice is published; and

                     (b)  consider any submissions received within the 14-day period mentioned in paragraph (a).

[undertaking about structural separation]

(5)     Schedule 1, item 21, page 10 (after line 25), after subsection 577C(1), insert:

          (1A)  In deciding whether to accept an undertaking under subsection (1), the ACCC must have regard to:

                     (a)  the matters (if any) set out in an instrument in force under subsection (1B); and

                     (b)  such other matters (if any) as the ACCC considers relevant.

          (1B)  The Minister may, by writing, set out matters for the purposes of paragraph (1A)(a).

[undertaking about hybrid fibre-coaxial networks]

(6)     Schedule 1, item 21, page 10 (before line 26), before subsection 577C(2), insert:

          (1C)  Before making or varying an instrument under subsection (1B), the Minister must:

                     (a)  cause to be published on the Department’s website a notice:

                              (i)  setting out the draft instrument or variation; and

                             (ii)  inviting persons to make submissions to the Minister about the draft instrument or variation within 14 days after the notice is published; and

                     (b)  consider any submissions received within the 14-day period mentioned in paragraph (a).

[undertaking about hybrid fibre-coaxial networks]

(7)     Schedule 1, item 21, page 11 (after line 3), at the end of section 577C, add:

             (7)  The Minister must cause a copy of an instrument under subsection (1B) to be published on the Department’s website.

             (8)  An instrument under subsection (1B) is not a legislative instrument .

[undertaking about hybrid fibre-coaxial networks]

(8)     Schedule 1, item 21, page 11 (after line 11), after subsection 577D(3), insert:

          (3A)  In deciding whether to accept the variation, the ACCC must have regard to:

                     (a)  the matters (if any) set out in an instrument in force under subsection (3B); and

                     (b)  such other matters (if any) as the ACCC considers relevant.

          (3B)  The Minister may, by writing, set out matters for the purposes of paragraph (3A)(a).

[undertaking about hybrid fibre-coaxial networks]

(9)     Schedule 1, item 21, page 11 (before line 12), before subsection 577D(4), insert:

          (3C)  Before making or varying an instrument under subsection (3B), the Minister must:

                     (a)  cause to be published on the Department’s website a notice:

                              (i)  setting out the draft instrument or variation; and

                             (ii)  inviting persons to make submissions to the Minister about the draft instrument or variation within 14 days after the notice is published; and

                     (b)  consider any submissions received within the 14-day period mentioned in paragraph (a).

[undertaking about hybrid fibre-coaxial networks]

(10)   Schedule 1, item 21, page 11 (after line 14), at the end of section 577D, add:

             (6)  The Minister must cause a copy of an instrument under subsection (3B) to be published on the Department’s website.

             (7)  An instrument under subsection (3B) is not a legislative instrument .

[undertaking about hybrid fibre-coaxial networks]

(11)   Schedule 1, item 21, page 11 (after line 25), after subsection 577E(1), insert:

          (1A)  In deciding whether to accept an undertaking under subsection (1), the ACCC must have regard to:

                     (a)  the matters (if any) set out in an instrument in force under subsection (1B); and

                     (b)  such other matters (if any) as the ACCC considers relevant.

          (1B)  The Minister may, by writing, set out matters for the purposes of paragraph (1A)(a).

[undertaking about subscription television broadcasting licences]

(12)   Schedule 1, item 21, page 11 (before line 26), before subsection 577E(2), insert:

          (1C)  Before making or varying an instrument under subsection (1B), the Minister must:

                     (a)  cause to be published on the Department’s website a notice:

                              (i)  setting out the draft instrument or variation; and

                             (ii)  inviting persons to make submissions to the Minister about the draft instrument or variation within 14 days after the notice is published; and

                     (b)  consider any submissions received within the 14-day period mentioned in paragraph (a).

[undertaking about subscription television broadcasting licences]

(13)   Schedule 1, item 21, page 12 (after line 5), after subsection 577E(6), insert:

          (6A)  The Minister must cause a copy of an instrument under subsection (1B) to be published on the Department’s website.

          (6B)  An instrument under subsection (1B) is not a legislative instrument .

[undertaking about subscription television broadcasting licences]

(14)   Schedule 1, item 21, page 12 (after line 18), after subsection 577F(3), insert:

          (3A)  In deciding whether to accept the variation, the ACCC must have regard to:

                     (a)  the matters (if any) set out in an instrument in force under subsection (3B); and

                     (b)  such other matters (if any) as the ACCC considers relevant.

          (3B)  The Minister may, by writing, set out matters for the purposes of paragraph (3A)(a).

[undertaking about subscription television broadcasting licences]

(15)   Schedule 1, item 21, page 12 (before line 19), before subsection 577F(4), insert:

          (3C)  Before making or varying an instrument under subsection (3B), the Minister must:

                     (a)  cause to be published on the Department’s website a notice:

                              (i)  setting out the draft instrument or variation; and

                             (ii)  inviting persons to make submissions to the Minister about the draft instrument or variation within 14 days after the notice is published; and

                     (b)  consider any submissions received within the 14-day period mentioned in paragraph (a).

[undertaking about subscription television broadcasting licences]

(16)   Schedule 1, item 21, page 12 (after line 21), at the end of section 577F, add:

             (6)  The Minister must cause a copy of an instrument under subsection (3B) to be published on the Department’s website.

             (7)  An instrument under subsection (3B) is not a legislative instrument .

[undertaking about subscription television broadcasting licences]

(17)   Schedule 1, page 96 (after line 10), after item 146, insert:

146A  After section 152EO

Insert:

152EOA   Review of operation of this Part

             (1)  Before 30 June 2014, the Minister must cause to be conducted a review of the operation of:

                     (a)  this Part; and

                     (b)  the remaining provisions of this Act so far as they relate to this Part.

             (2)  A review under subsection (1) must make provision for public consultation.

             (3)  The Minister must cause to be prepared a report of a review under subsection (1).

             (4)  The Minister must cause copies of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the completion of the preparation of the report.

[review]

(18)   Schedule 1, page 107 (after line 15), after item 163, insert:

163A  Subparagraph 6(1)(b)(i)

Omit “has a hearing impairment”, substitute “is deaf or has a hearing and/or speech impairment”.

163B  Subparagraph 6(1)(b)(ii)

Omit “teletypewriter”, substitute “device that enables text-based communication”.

[standard telephone service]

(19)   Schedule 1, item 175, page 114 (after line 25), after paragraph 12ED(1)(e), insert:

                    (ea)  the minimum accessibility features of payphones for end-users with disabilities;

[payphones]

(20)   Schedule 1, item 175, page 115 (after line 31), after paragraph 12EE(1)(e), insert:

                    (ea)  the minimum accessibility features of payphones for end-users with disabilities;

[payphones]

(21)   Schedule 1, item 175, page 118 (line 19), omit “makes”, substitute “proposes to make”.

[consultation about removal of payphones]

(22)   Schedule 1, item 175, page 118 (after line 24), after paragraph 12EG(2)(c), insert:

                    (ca)  if there is a local government body for the area in which that payphone is located—that process must involve the provider:

                              (i)  notifying the local government body, in writi ng, of the proposed decision to remove that payphone; and

                             (ii)  inviting the local government body to make a submission to the provider about the proposed decision; and

[consultation about removal of payphones]

(23)   Schedule 1, item 175, page 118 (lines 25 to 27), omit paragraph 12EG(2)(d), substitute:

                     (d)  if, in accordance with that process, a person or a local government body makes a submission to the provider—the provider must:

                              (i)  take the submission into account; and

                             (ii)  notify the person or the local government body, in writing, of the outcome of that process.

[consultation about removal of payphones]

(24)   Schedule 1, page 120 (after line 29), after Part 4, insert:

Part 4A—Consumer protection

Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999

1  Paragraph 115(1)(f)

Omit “.”, substitute “; and”.

2  At the end of subsection 115(1)

Add:

                     (g)  the advertising of products and informing customers about the prices, terms and conditions of products on offer; and

                     (h)  the fairness of consumer contract terms may be considered unfair, including having regard to the intelligibility and accessibility of contract terms; and

                      (i)  the provision of billing information and billing services to customers; and

                      (j)  the credit assessment of customers, the provision of security and credit control tools, and a requirement to have a financial hardship policy to assist customers experiencing financial difficulties; and

                      (l)  the complaint handling procedures for information provision to customers and recording of their complaints.

[incorporation of the Consumer Protection Code]

(25)   Schedule 1, Part 5, page 121 (after line 3), before item 177, insert:

176A  At the end of paragraph 105(3)(d)

Add:

                     and (iii)  performance standards made, and performance benchmarks set, under Part 6;

[annual report on compliance with benchmarks etc.]

(26)   Schedule 1, page 137 (after line 10), at the end of the Schedule, add:

Part 9—Ownership of the NBN Company

Telecommunications Act 1997

1  Section 7

Insert:

NBN Company means NBN Co Limited (A.C.N. 136 533 741), as the company exists from time to time (even if its name is later changed).

2  After Part 27A

Insert:

Part 27B—NBN Company

531R  Ownership of the NBN Company

                   The Commonwealth must not dispose of or transfer shares in the NBN Company or any subsidiary of that company without the approval of the Parliament.

[ownership of NBN Company]

(27)   Schedule 1, page 137 (after line 10), at the end of the Schedule, add:

Part 10—Do Not Call Register

Do Not Call Register Act 2006

1  Paragraph 17(1)(b)

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (b)  remains in force until removed from the Do Not Call Register in accordance with a determination under subsection 18(1).

2  After subsection 18(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  A determination under subsection (1) made for the purposes of paragraph (1)(e) must not provide for the removal of entries from the Do Not Call Register merely because of the passage of time.

[removing time limit on Do Not Call registration]