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

8:59 pm

Photo of Ian MacdonaldIan Macdonald (Queensland, Liberal Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern and Remote Australia) Share this | Hansard source

As I say, that is adding another minister to the communication minister, regardless of who the individuals are who might hold those roles at a given time. In discussing this bill today, I raised this question. The ACCC, as you indicated, have a view on it, although it is a view that is apparently not shared by others. Why is it left effectively to two politicians to determine whether a company is functionally separated or not? It just seems to me to be inappropriate to be anointing ministers with those decisions. My question is: why wouldn’t some independent, knowledgeable person—I say this with respect for whoever the individuals might be—make the decision rather than leaving it effectively to two politicians?

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