Public consultation on telecommunications carrier powers and immunities
9 June 2017
Australian Government has released a public consultation paper on proposed
changes to telecommunications carrier powers and immunities laws, so they
remain relevant in the rapidly evolving communications sector.
powers and immunities are designed to strike the right balance between the
community’s need to access reliable, affordable telecommunications services while
ensuring that local governments and communities have a say in the deployment of
major telecommunications infrastructure.
telecommunications carriers have a range of powers and immunities to allow for the
installation and maintenance of certain network facilities, such as pillars and
antennas, quickly and cost-effectively. This helps ensure Australians have better
access to the telecommunications services they need.
powers and immunities have been in place since 1997. Since then, fixed-line and
mobile communications technologies have evolved rapidly and there has been a
dramatic increase in demand for voice and broadband services.
changes seek to clarify the operation of some existing powers and immunities,
allow for the deployment of new types of network infrastructure, make changes
to some existing facility types, and streamline notification and objection
installation of freestanding mobile towers is not a subject of the consultation
paper. Such towers are subject to State and Territory planning requirements.
changes canvassed in the consultation paper could allow carriers to better meet
the needs of consumers at lower cost, and simultaneously reduce the burden on Government
in the administration of these regulations.
undertaken by the telecommunications industry has estimated that the proposed
changes could result in economic and social productivity benefits for consumers,
worth over $50 million per year, and regulatory cost savings to industry and
Government worth over $100 million per year.
Department of Communications and the Arts is seeking feedback on whether the
changes should proceed, and if so, in what form. Interested parties, including
local governments, community groups and industry are encouraged to comment.
information, including the consultation paper and draft amendments to the
legislative instruments are available at:
required to be lodged by 21 July, 2017.