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The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the question—That the Bill be now read a second time—

Debate resumed by Mr Smith who moved, as an amendment—That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

"whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House:

(1) notes the lack of effective competition in significant parts of the Australian telecommunications industry;

(2) notes the Government's failure to respond in a timely manner to widespread industry concerns held since at least January 1999 about delays in the telecommunications competition regime, which continue to the detriment of both consumers and the industry;

(3) notes that the cause of the Government's failure to act has been its ideological obsession with the full privatisation of Telstra; and

(4) calls on the Government to urgently consider further reform as part of its response to the final report of the Productivity Commission's inquiry into the telecommunications competition regime due next month".

Debate continued.

Amendment negatived.

Question—That the Bill be now read a second time—put and passed—Bill read a second time.

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

On the motion of Dr Nelson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence), the Bill was read a third time.