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Draft legislation released for NBN Co operations.



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Joint media release

The Hon Lindsay Tanner MP Minister for Finance and Deregulation

Draft Legislation Released for NBN Co Operations

The Rudd Government today released exposure drafts of legislation to establish a regulatory framework for the National Broadband Network company, NBN Co Limited.

Exposure drafts of two bills were released:

• National Broadband Network Companies Bill 2010 • Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network Measures - Access Arrangements) Bill 2010.

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said the release of the exposure drafts followed a public consultation process on the legislative framework in July 2009.

"These bills deliver on the Rudd Government’s commitment to change the competitive dynamics of the telecommunications sector by ensuring NBN Co will operate as a wholesale-only company, offering open and equivalent access," Senator Conroy said.

"Releasing these exposure drafts is a very important first step towards providing certainty on how NBN Co will operate and what its obligations will be.

"Before we introduce the bills formally we are keen to seek further feedback from key stakeholders to ensure we get the details right. We have an open mind on any amendments put forward that we believe can improve the bills."

The National Broadband Network Companies Bill 2010 sets out ownership, governance and sale arrangements for NBN Co.

Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner said: "It places a clear obligation on NBN Co, NBN Tasmania and any wholly-owned subsidiary corporations NBN Co might establish, to operate as a wholesale-only company.

"It also firmly establishes the Government’s commitment to sell its stake in the company five years after the NBN is built and operational, subject to market conditions and security considerations."

The Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network Measures - Access Arrangements) Bill 2010 sets out the access arrangements for NBN Co that reflect its wholesale-only status.

These arrangements build on the reforms to the Trade Practices Act 1974 introduced in September 2009.

The Government proposes to introduce the bills into Parliament in the Autumn or Winter sittings depending on the feedback received.

Copies of the bills are available from the website of the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy at: www.dbcde.gov.au/nbncompanylegislation

Queries and comments on the draft bills can be emailed to nbnlegislation@dbcde.gov.au at any time before 15 March 2010.

Date: 24 February 2010 Contact: Suzie Brady (Senator Conroy’s Office) 0408 258 457 Nardia Dazkiw (Minister Tanner’s Office) 0418 144 690