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Monday, 13 August 2018
Page: 4581

Senator RUSTON (South AustraliaAssistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources) (19:54): I'd like to thank the members who have contributed to the debate on the Telecommunication Legislation Amendment Bill 2018. The Telecommunications Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 creates a new tower access regime for towers owned or operated by NBN corporations, such as NBN Co Ltd, and would also allow the Minister for Communications to specify temporary telecommunication towers as low-impact facilities in certain circumstances.

Schedule 1 to the bill will amend the National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011 to permit NBN corporations to provide emergency service organisations, like police, fire and ambulance services, with access to towers and associated sites and facilities. The bill includes requirements for NBN Co to meet competitive neutrality requirements and also provides that NBN Co will not have to provide access if this is not technically feasible or if it does not have sufficient capacity on a tower for its own reasonable requirements or existing contractual requirements. NBN Co will be required to publish a standard offer for tower access and must provide access on a non-discriminatory basis. These obligations are consistent with its general obligations when it supplies services to telecommunication companies.

Schedule 2 to the bill will amend schedule 3 to the Telecommunications Act 1997 to allow the more efficient installation of temporary telecommunications towers when used during emergencies, maintenance, peak holiday periods and major sporting, cultural and other events. The amendments in schedule 2 to the bill will allow the Minister for Communications to specify temporary towers as low-impact facilities in certain circumstances. These changes will allow telecommunications carriers to quickly provide services to the community, businesses and emergency service organisations. Except during an emergency or natural disaster, there will be strict height restrictions imposed on temporary towers. The changes also include conditions to ensure that a temporary tower is removed within a set time frame and that carriers restore the land. I call on senators to support this bill.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Ketter ): The question is that the amendment moved by Senator O'Neill be agreed to.

Question agreed to.

Original question, as amended, agreed to.

Bill read a second time.