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Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Bill 1998

Part 3 The National Relay Service

Division 1 Introduction

93   Simplified outline

                   The following is a simplified outline of this Part:

•      Provision is made for the National Relay Service (NRS).

•      The NRS provides persons who are deaf or who have a hearing and/or speech impairment with access to a standard telephone service on terms, and in circumstances, that are comparable to the access other Australians have to a standard telephone service.

94   Definitions

                   In this Part:

levy quarter means a quarter for which NRS levy is payable.

National Relay Service or NRS has the meaning given by subsection 95(1).

NRS contract means the contract under which the National Relay Service is provided.

NRS levy means the levy payable in accordance with this Part.

NRS provider means the person who provides the National Relay Service.

NRS service plan means a plan referred to in subsection 95(2).

quarter means a period of 3 months ending on 30 September, 31 December, 31 March or 30 June.

taxpayer , for a quarter, means a person who is liable to pay NRS levy for the quarter.



 

Division 2 The National Relay Service

95   The National Relay Service (the NRS)

             (1)  A reference in this Part to the National Relay Service (or NRS ) is a reference to a service that:

                     (a)  provides persons who are deaf, or who have a hearing and/or speech impairment, with access to a standard telephone service on terms, and in circumstances, that are comparable to those on which other Australians have access to a standard telephone service; and

                     (b)  is provided by a person under a contract with the Commonwealth.

             (2)  The NRS contract must provide for the NRS provider to prepare service plans for the NRS. The service plan must include at least the following matters:

                     (a)  timetables for the supply of the NRS; and

                     (b)  performance standards to be met by the NRS provider.

             (3)  The Minister must arrange for each NRS service plan to be published in whatever manner the Minister considers appropriate.

96   Publication of costs of providing the NRS

             (1)  Before the start of each levy quarter, the NRS provider must give the Minister a written estimate of the total cost of the provider in providing the NRS during the quarter. The estimate must be prepared in accordance with the NRS contract. The Minister must cause the estimate to be published in the Gazette .

             (2)  Within 30 days after the end of each levy quarter, the NRS provider must give the Minister a written statement of the total cost of the provider in providing the NRS during the quarter. The statement must be prepared in accordance with the NRS contract. The Minister must cause the statement to be published in the Gazette .

97   ACA reports and advice about NRS service plans

             (1)  The ACA must monitor all significant matters relating to the performance by the NRS provider of the provider’s obligations under an NRS service plan.

             (2)  As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, the ACA must give a written report to the Minister about the performance by the NRS provider during the financial year of the provider’s obligations under an NRS service plan.

             (3)  The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the Minister receives the report.

             (4)  In addition to the report under subsection (2), the ACA must give the Minister such reports or advice as the Minister requires in relation to the NRS service plan.

             (5)  A reference in this section to a financial year is a reference to the 1999-2000 financial year or a later financial year.



 

Division 3 The NRS levy

98   Levy quarters

                   NRS levy is payable for each of the quarters in a financial year, starting with the 1999-2000 financial year.

99   Persons liable to pay levy (taxpayers)

                   NRS levy for a quarter is payable by each person who:

                     (a)  is a participating carrier in relation to the financial year in which the quarter occurs; and

                     (b)  is covered by the most recent section 64 assessment made before the start of the quarter.

100   Amount of levy

             (1)  The total levy for a quarter (the current quarter ) is calculated as follows:

                     (a)  the starting point is the estimated NRS cost for the current quarter (the current estimate );

                     (b)  if there is a levy shortfall for the previous quarter, then that shortfall is added to the current estimate;

                     (c)  if there is a levy surplus for the previous quarter, then that surplus is deducted from the current estimate.

             (2)  Each taxpayer’s NRS contribution amount for the current quarter is calculated as follows:

Note:          Levy is imposed on the NRS contribution amount by the NRS Levy Imposition Act 1997 .

             (3)  In this section:

actual NRS cost , for a quarter, means the amount published for the quarter under subsection 96(2).

eligible revenue , for a taxpayer for a quarter, means the taxpayer’s eligible revenue as shown in the most recent section 64 assessment made before the start of the quarter.

estimated NRS cost , for a quarter, means the amount published for the quarter under subsection 96(1).

levy shortfall , for a quarter, means the amount by which the estimated NRS cost for the quarter falls short of the actual NRS cost for the quarter.

levy surplus , for a quarter, means the amount by which the estimated NRS cost for the quarter exceeds the actual NRS cost for the quarter.

101   Payment of levy

             (1)  NRS levy is payable to the ACA on behalf of the Commonwealth.

             (2)  A person who is liable to pay NRS levy for a quarter must pay it to the ACA on or before the 14th day of the second month in the quarter.

             (3)  Unpaid NRS levy may be recovered as a debt in a court of competent jurisdiction, by the ACA acting on behalf of the Commonwealth.



 

Division 4 The NRS Reserve

102   The NRS Reserve

             (1)  The NRS Reserve that was, immediately before the commencement of this section, in existence because of section 221I of the Telecommunications Act 1997 continues in existence under and subject to the provisions of this Act.

             (2)  The NRS Reserve is a component of the Reserved Money Fund.

             (3)  The purpose of the NRS Reserve is to make payments to the NRS provider under the NRS contract.

             (4)  The following amounts must be transferred to the NRS Reserve from the Consolidated Revenue Fund:

                     (a)  amounts of NRS levy that are credited to the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

                     (b)  interest from the investment of money in the NRS Reserve.