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Wednesday, 16 March 2005
Page: 38

Senator COONAN (Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts) (11:54 AM) —The purpose of the amendment, as I interpret Senator Cherry’s comments, is to amend the bill to require ACMA to advise the minister where current policy settings are inadequate to meet current or future challenges. It continues the theme of the amendments so far, which is that they are basically redundant and unnecessary because they already exist, or at least their purposes are already accounted for in the way that I have earlier indicated.

This particular amendment is unnecessary as clauses 8(1)(k), 9(1)(i) and 10(1)(r) of the bill already require the ACMA to monitor and report on the operation of acts they administer. So the amendment proposed by Senator Cherry is entirely redundant and unnecessary. If pressed, I would say there are some drafting problems. The amendment should read ‘the ACMA is,’ rather than ‘ACMA are’. It is also unclear what is meant by ‘current policy’ settings and ‘inadequate’. In any event, there can always be some tidying up of drafting and some precision, and it would be much needed if it were to be pressed. I really do urge Senator Cherry to look carefully at the whole suite of legislation that applies here and at the provisions that already do what he is seeking to do.