The Federal Government has introduced into Parliament theOmnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014 (Omnibus Bill) as part of the Government's election promise to reduce regulatory requirements across a variety of industries. Among other things, the Omnibus Bill seeks to repeal a number of outdated or duplicative provisions and to amend various pieces of telecommunications legislation. Key telecommunications proposed changes are:
- Reduce the volume of access agreement documentation that must be supplied to the ACCC by repealing sections 152BEA and 152BEB of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010(Competition and Consumer Act) and replacing them with new sections that will (a) require carriers or carriage service providers (CSPs) to submit a quarterly report to the ACCC listing all access agreements in relation to the declared services it supplies or proposes to supply, and (b) empower the ACCC to request copies of any contract in writing.
- Repeal sections 480, 480A and 481 in Part 23 of theTelecommunications Act 1997 (Telecommunications Act), which relate to standard form agreements. These provisions are seen as redundant and have been superseded by the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP Code).
- Repeal Part 7 of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999. Part 7 was intended to protect residential customers from losing prepaid monies in the event a new CSP failed to supply standard carriage services through circumstances such as insolvency. Part 7 has never been utilised.
- Repeal section 451 of the Telecommunications Act, which currently specifies the consultation methods the ACMA may adopt when undertaking consultations in relation to the operation or supply of specified customer equipment and cabling. Section 451 is now considered unnecessary given other consultation requirements and the ACMA's practice.
Please click on the link for a copy of the Omnibus Bill.