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Tuesday, 6 June 1989
Page: 3469


Senator ALSTON(8.25) —by leave-I move:

(32) Page 26, subclause 81 (1), line 39, after ``AUSTEL shall'', insert ``, within 21 days of receipt of the application,''.

(33) Page 27, subclause 81 (3), line 13, after ``AUSTEL shall'', insert ``, within 48 hours,''.

(34) Page 29, paragraph 84 (1) (a), line 13, leave out ``having refused to accept'', insert ``having accepted''.

Amendment No. 32 will impose a 21-day time limit for Austel to notify carriers of class licence applications to enable the carriers to express a view on harms to the network and any monopoly infringements. We consider that it is desirable to impose a time limit rather than allow Austel simply to have an unlimited period of time in which to consider the application. Amendment No. 33 imposes a 48-hour time limit for Austel to accept the application. Amendment No. 34 reverses the consequences of a failure by Austel to consider the application in time. It would turn a deemed refusal into a deemed approval. We regard this as very necessary. It would impose a discipline upon Austel. The only reason why Austel would not be able to comply with these obligations would be if the government chose not to provide it with adequate funding. We think it would be a very useful way of ensuring that the government delivers the goods. We think it is intolerable than an applicant should fail by default-through no fault of its own-and in those circumstances it is only right and proper that, in the event that Austel is not able to deal with the matter within a set period of time, the application should be treated as having been approved.