Senate debates

Thursday, 24 March 2011

National Broadband Network Companies Bill 2010; Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network Measures — Access Arrangements) Bill 2011

In Committee

6:03 pm

Photo of Stephen ConroyStephen Conroy (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

I am sorry, Senator Macdonald. I always enjoy your contributions. I would not necessarily have defined your OPEL lament as a question—perhaps a stream of consciousness. But when it comes to OPEL, I know that the next speaker is the master. This amendment prevents a carrier acquiring services for self-supply. This is a right they have today. You actually want to tell people, tell companies, how they can use a service. That is what you are proposing. I invite you, Senator Macdonald, to reflect on what you are actually proposing. You are saying that it is okay for a company to buy a wholesale service from NBN Co. and then they can on-sell it. That was not your position a while ago—not yours personally. At least you have come round to not wanting to be too embarrassingly anticompetitive. But once they have purchased it, you are deciding for them what they can do with it. That is actually what you are doing. That is something that they have the choice to do now. You are seeking to restrict your own former legislation to tell a company that buys a wholesale service what it can do. I do not think you could be more interventionist. Joe Stalin would be proud of you. Seriously, you want to tell them in a piece of legislation that you can do this with a legally purchased product from NBN Co. Senator Macdonald and Senator Fisher want to tell them what they can do with it.

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