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

7:51 pm

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray Darling Basin) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the minister for his explanation of these amendments. We note that these amendments are an attempt by the government to address some of the issues that industry and the opposition have expressed concerns about. This is an area not altogether unrelated to the debate we have had over the last few hours about whether the NBN is genuinely a wholesale only provider or not. In this instance, the government seems to think that where it has provided exemption to the NBN on providing services to other entities it is reasonable to put a condition on those exemptions that would prohibit the on-supply or resupply of the service by those entities.

Strangely, the government just voted against a very similar proposal that would have done it for anybody who accesses the NBN service. It is a very peculiar inconsistency in the government’s approach, but we are quite used to such inconsistencies from the government. The opposition are not convinced these amendments go far enough. We have amendments of our own which will be debated following this; however, we will support these amendments as a second-best solution to the government’s flawed approach.

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