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Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010

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7006

2010

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010

 

 

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

1A.  Schedule 1, Part 1A

The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

[objects—commencement]

(2)     Schedule 1, 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 30, page 11 (after line 28), after subsection 577A(7), insert:

          (7A)  Before making or varying an instrument under subsection (7), 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 30, page 13 (after line 21), after subsection 577A(20), insert:

        (20A)  The Minister must not make a legislative instrument under subsection (20) unless the Minister has obtained advice from the ACCC that confirms that the proposed exemption regarding the fixed-line carriage service would promote the long-term interests of end users.

[ministerial discretion]

(5)     Schedule 1, item 30, page 13 (after line 27), after subsection 577A(21), insert:

        (21A)  The Minister must not make a legislative instrument under subsection (21) unless the Minister has obtained advice from the ACCC that confirms that the proposed exemption regarding the telecommunications network would promote the long-term interests of end users.

[ministerial discretion]

(6)     Schedule 1, item 30, page 18 (after line 10), 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]

(7)     Schedule 1, item 30, page 26 (after line 24), after subsection 577BC(5), insert:

Consultation

          (5A)  Before making an instrument under subsection (3) or (4), the Minister must:

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

                              (i)  setting out the proposed instrument; and

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

                     (b)  cause to be published on the Department’s website a copy of each submission received within the 14-day period mentioned in paragraph (a); and

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

[consultation on migration plan requirements]

(8)     Schedule 1, item 30, page 36 (after line 4), 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).

          (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]

(9)     Schedule 1, item 30, page 36 (after line 14), 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]

(10)   Schedule 1, item 30, page 40 (after line 1), 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).

          (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]

(11)   Schedule 1, item 30, page 40 (after line 4), 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]

(12)   Schedule 1, item 30, page 40 (after line 15), 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).

          (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 30, page 40 (after line 29), at the end of section 577E, 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 subscription television broadcasting licences]

(14)   Schedule 1, item 30, page 44 (after line 21), 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).

          (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]

(15)   Schedule 1, item 30, page 44 (after line 24), 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]

(16)   Schedule 1, item 30, page 45 (line 1), after “ACCC”, insert “or a person (the affected person ) whose interests are affected by the undertaking”.

[access seeker may seek to enforce undertaking]

(17)   Schedule 1, item 30, page 45 (line 3), after “ACCC”, insert “or the affected person”.

[access seeker may seek to enforce undertaking]

(18)   Schedule 1, item 31, page 55 (line 24), at the end of paragraph (b) of the definition of equivalence , add:

                            , including (but not limited to) conditions in relation to:

                              (i)  ordering and provisioning; and

                             (ii)  fault detection, handling and rectification; and

                            (iii)  technical and operational quality of services.

[definition of equivalence]

(19)   Schedule 1, item 160, page 144 (after line 12), at the end of Division 4B, add:

152BEE  Primacy of access agreements

                   If an access agreement is inconsistent with any:

                     (a)  access determination; or

                     (b)  binding rule of conduct; or

                     (c)  special access undertaking;

which comes into force on a date after the access agreement was made:

                     (d)  an access seeker which is a party to the access agreement may notify the other party that it wants the access determination, binding rule of conduct or special undertaking (as the case may be) to prevail over the access agreement to the extent of such inconsistency; and

                     (e)  the access agreement is taken to be varied to the extent of such inconsistency.

[primacy of access agreements]

(20)   Schedule 1, page 155 (after line 15), after item 195, insert:

195A  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]

(21)   Schedule 1, page 168 (after line 15), after item 216, insert:

216A  Subparagraph 6(1)(b)(i)

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

216B  Subparagraph 6(1)(b)(ii)

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

[standard telephone service]

(22)   Schedule 1, page 181 (after line 20), after Part 4, insert:

Part 4A—Consumer protection

Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999

226A  Paragraph 115(1)(f)

Omit “.”, substitute “; and”.

226B  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 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

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

[incorporation of the Consumer Protection Code]

(23)   Schedule 1, page 182 (after line 1), after the heading to Part 5, insert:

Telecommunications Act 1997

227A  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.]