Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Page: 7640


Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth) (18:46): by leave—I move amendments (1) to (11), as circulated in my name, together:

(1)   Clause 1, page 2 (before line 1), insert after item 3 in the table:

4. Schedule 1, Part 3

The later of:

(a)   the day after this Act receives the Royal Assent; and

(b)   immediately after the commencement of Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network Measures—Access Arrangements) Act 2011.

(2)   Schedule 1, item 10, page 4 (after line 23), insert:

If a compliant optical fibre network is installed in such a fibre-ready facility, NBN Co will pay the cost of installation.

(3)   Schedule 1, item 10, page 6 (line 18), omit "the conditions (if any)", substitute "any technical standards and other conditions".

(4)   Schedule 1, item 10, page 6 (line 25), after "specify" insert "technical standards and other".

(5)   Schedule 1, item 10, page 6 (after line 26), insert:

(4A)   The Minister must consult the ACMA and relevant industry bodies before making an instrument under subsection (4).

(6)   Schedule 1, item 10, page 6 (line 28), after "paragraph (1)(b)" insert "or subsection (4)".

(7)   Schedule 1, item 10, page 8 (line 10), omit "the conditions (if any)", substitute "any technical standards and other conditions".

(8)   Schedule 1, item 10, page 8 (line 17), after "specify" insert "technical standards and other".

(9)   Schedule 1, item 10, page 8 (after line 18), insert:

(4A)   The Minister must consult the ACMA and relevant industry bodies before making an instrument under subsection (4).

(10)   Schedule 1, item 10, page 8 (line 20), after "paragraph (1)(b)" insert "or subsection (4)".

(11)   Schedule 1, item 10, page 9 (after line 4), insert:

372CA Payments by NBN Co of installation costs for optical networks

Scope

(1)   This section applies in relation to the project area, or any of the project areas, for a real estate development project:

(a)   that is compliant with Division 3; and

(b)   in which a compliant optical network is installed by a person other than NBN Co.

NBN Co to make installation payment

(2)   The person or persons responsible for the real estate development project may apply to NBN for an amount of money representing the installation costs for such a network (an installation payment) in accordance with this section.

(3)   Application for the installation payment for a network must be made within 3 months after the completion of the network.

(4)   The person or persons responsible for the real estate development project must provide NBN Co with such information and access as NBN CO requires to satisfy itself that the network is a compliant optical network.

(5)   NBN Co must make an installation payment for a network within 30 days after receiving the application for the payment.

Amount of payment

(6)   The amount of the installation payment must be in accordance with a scale of payments determined by the Minister for this subsection and published in the Gazette.

(7)   The Minister must determine a scale of payments for the purposes of subsection (6) as soon as practicable.

(8)   In determining a scale of payments, the Minister must take into account:

   (a)   the typical costs of installing such networks or elements of such networks (other than the cost of the optical fibre), including significant regional variations in costs; and

   (b)   the costs that NBN Co would have incurred (other than the cost of the optical fibre) had it undertaken such installations itself.

Interpretation

(9)   For this section, a project area of a real estate development project is compliant with Division 3 if:

   (a)   section 372E or 372F applied to installation of a fixed-line facility in the project area; and

   (b)   any fixed-line facilities installed in the project area that were subject to subsections 372E(2) or 272F(2) complied with those subsections.

Note:   These subsections require that the facilities be fibre-ready and that the installation comply with an instrument under 372E(4) or 372F(4), subject to exemptions under section 372K.

(10)   For this section, a compliant optical network of a project area of a real estate development project is a collection of optical fibre lines in the project area, each of which:

(a)   is wholly or primarily used, or wholly or primarily for use, to supply one or more carriage services to either or both of the following:

(i)   one or more end-users (whether or not identifiable) in one or more building units;

(ii)   one or more prospective end-users (whether or not identifiable) in one or more building units; and

(b)   is not on the customer side of the boundary of a telecommunications network; and

(c)   is used, or for use, to supply a carriage service to the public; and

(d)   for a line being deployed to a building lot— was installed in compliance with the conditions for such lines in an instrument under subsection 372B(4): and

(e)   for a line being deployed to a building unit— was installed in compliance with the conditions for such lines in an instrument under subsection 372C(4).

These amendments essentially do two things. Firstly, they require the minister, in setting technical standards, to consult with ACMA and the relevant industry bodies. Most importantly, they require the NBN to purchase what are described as 'installed optical networks' in developments at a price which will be essentially in accordance with a schedule determined by the minister, which we would expect would be an amount of money per residence or, in the case of multidwelling home units, per home units connected. The rationale for this is set out in the dissenting report to the report of the Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network that the minister was just referring to.

It is fine for the minister to say that the opposition takes this view and that view. What we are seeking to address here is a problem that has been identified not by us but by the industry. The private sector fibre operators and fibre installation industry have come to us and to that committee and said that this bill—the way the NBN is going about this—will put them out of business. They have cited, as we have cited in the dissenting report, numerous statements by the government and the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Conroy, about their commitment to competition, and the minister has spoken about that. But the reality is simply this: because the NBN will install its cable at no cost to the developer there is simply no role for the private sector—unless, of course, they are a subcontractor to the NBN. The other reality is that the NBN is a massive government monopoly which has already demonstrated to the property devĀ­elopment industry that it is far from timely in its responses to their requirements. There is a real concern among the development industry—and their evidence before the committee is all on the record—that the NBN will simply not respond in a timely way.

So we have sought to craft a solution to a problem that has been presented to us by the industry. This, after all, is the task of this parliament: to seek to address the problems that the people of Australia present to us. What we propose here, in amendments (1) to (11), is simply a scheme where a developer will have the option, after putting in the pits and pipes, of waiting for the NBN to show up or, alternatively, engaging a suitably qualified contractor to install the fibre in accordance with the technical standards laid down in the appropriate way—so that fibre will be compliant with the standards that the NBN can live with—and then be able to be reimbursed by the NBN by effectively requiring the NBN to purchase it.

This will provide a breath of life to the private sector fibre companies. It will also provide an ability for developers to be in control of their own destiny and to be in a position to have a contractor to put in the pits and pipes, put in the fibre and, as long as it is in compliance with the relevant standards, require the NBN to take it over. The next amendment deals with a different situation which I will speak on when we deal with that. This is important. It is important for the property sector. It is important for the private cable contracting sector. The minister referĀ­red to this sector as 'nascent'—they are 'just small businesses'. Frankly, I would say that a nascent industry is one that should be encouraged. On our side of the House, we believe in encouraging small businesses in the hope that they will become bigger ones, and I commend these amendments to the House.