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Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Page: 7649


Mr ALBANESE (GrayndlerLeader of the House and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport) (19:19): The government will be opposing this amendment. The level playing field arrangements were only passed by the parliament in late March. The coalition's proposed amendment fails to understand the origin, purpose and importance of these arrangements. Vertical integration and the lack of wholesale services in new developments have been a longstanding concern. Many competing operators have extolled the wholesale-only model.

The government's approach ensures end users will enjoy NBN-like outcomes regardless of the network provider. It also ensures that NBN Co. operates on a level playing field so it can provide faster broadband access across Australia, an open access platform for competition across Australia and uniform national wholesale pricing. These will benefit all Australians, especially in regional Australia. Where a competing provider has legitimate concerns about the arrangements, there is scope for exemptions.

In conclusion, the government considers that the opposition's proposed amendment is unnecessary and inappropriate and therefore we urge the House to oppose this amendment.