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Tuesday, 23 August 1983
Page: 116

Question No. 296

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 26 May 1983:

What is the definition for Telecom Australia's purpose of common interest for such things as the use of leased lines or networks.

Mr Duffy —The answer to the honourable member's question, based on advice received from the Australian Telecommunications Commission, is as follows:

For any group of persons (individual or corporate) to constitute a 'common interest' group to operate a Telecom facility (including a private network), the group must have a common interest or business and must meet the following criteria:

(i) the prime business or interest of the group must be something other than operating a telecommunications facility or service;

(ii) the operation of a telecommunications facility or service by the group must be no more than ancillary to, or facilitating, the group's primary business or interest;

(iii) the relationship between a company and its subsidiaries is sufficient to constitute a common interest group, subject to (i) and (ii) above;

(iv) the relationship between a company and its shareholders, by itself, is insufficient to constitute a common interest group.

It should be noted that the concept of common interest groups who share or operate telecommunications facilities or services is a limited exception to the Commission's role of national common carrier, and the exception is, for that reason, strictly administered.