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Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2006

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2004-2005-2006

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BROADCASTING LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 1) 2005

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

Amendments to be Moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the

Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts,

Senator the Honourable Helen Coonan)

 

 



 

BROADCASTING LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 1) 2005

 

 

AMENDMENTS TO BE MOVED ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The proposed amendment will remove a provision in the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2005 (the Bill) that required the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to determine a date no later than 1 January 2006 as the date from which the process for allocating an additional broadcasting licence under section 38B of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA) was to commence in remote Western Australia. 

 

The amendment will allow ACMA to use its discretion to determine an appropriate date for commencing the process in remote Western Australia.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The proposed amendment is not expected to have any significant financial impact on Commonwealth expenditure or revenue.

 



 

NOTES ON AMENDMENT

 

Amendment (1) proposes that Item 3 of Schedule 1 to the Bill be opposed.

 

Item 3 of Schedule 1 to the Bill requires the ACMA to designate a date no later than 1 January 2006 as the date from which the process for allocating an additional broadcasting licence under section 38B of the BSA was to commence in remote Western Australia. 

 

Subsection 38B(1) of the BSA provides that where there are only two existing commercial television broadcasting licences in force in a particular licence area, the existing licensees may jointly, or individually, give written notice to the ACMA that they will apply for an exempt licence.  The notice must be given to the ACMA within 90 days of the designated time for the licence area.

 

Subsection 38B(26) provides that, where the licence area concerned is a remote licence area or it overlaps with a remote licence area, the designated time for that licence area is the time determined by the ACMA under subsection 38B(27).

 

Item 3 of Schedule 1 to the Bill proposed to insert new subsection 38B(29), which provides that when the ACMA determines a designated time for remote licence areas in Western Australia under subsection 38B(27), this time must be no later than 1 January 2006. 

 

Due to the passage of time, it is necessary to remove the requirement for the designated time to be no later than 1 January 2006.  The effect of this amendment will be to allow ACMA to use its discretion under subsection 38B(27) to set a designated time for remote Western Australia. 

 

It is anticipated that the ACMA will designate an appropriate date for commencing the process for allocating an additional section 38B commercial television broadcasting licence shortly after the passage of the Bill, and that the incumbent broadcasters in remote licence areas in Western Australia will start digital transmission of their existing services (the parent services) and section 38B services in these remote licence areas at an early stage, with associated benefits for consumers in those areas.