The Australian Government is seeking comments on what reforms are required that would ensure the powers and immunities framework continues to meet the needs of modern Australia.

How it works

Why we want your input
We are seeking to improve the powers and immunities framework to balance the interests of stakeholders with the provision of modern telecommunications services.
How you can voice your opinion
You can submit your views by clicking the Have Your Say button below, by sending an email, or mailing your submission before 5pm on 30 October 2020.
What will be the outcome of this consultation?
Your submissions will inform if, or how, the proposals in this paper are implemented. Further consultation will be undertaken for policy proposals as needed.

Consultation Information

Consultation tabs

The Issue
Consultation Period:  September 16, 2020 09:00 AEST to October 30, 2020 17:00 AEDT

Telecommunications companies have some powers to enter land and install and maintain some types of telecommunications facilities, and some immunities from some state and territory legislation when doing so.

The laws are set out under Schedule 3 to the Telecommunications Act 1997 and are critical to the efficient construction and maintenance of telecommunications networks.

The Department is consulting on possible changes to strike the right balance between the community's need to access reliable, affordable telecommunications services and ensuring that property owners, local governments and communities have a say in the deployment of infrastructure that affects them.

Most aspects of carrier powers and immunities have been in place since 1997. Since then, communications technologies have evolved rapidly, and demand for services and data has increased dramatically.

The upcoming scale and level of investment in 5G networks requires a review of the powers and immunities framework to ensure it is efficient and effective in today's operating environment. This paper seeks stakeholder feedback on how to balance both deployment and landowner needs.

In 2017, the Government consulted on 24 proposed reforms to the powers and immunities framework requested by mobile carriers and NBN Co. Of the 24 proposals, the Government at the time implemented 10 reforms in 2018 and agreed to consult further on the remaining reform proposals.

In 2018, the Department established the Powers and Immunities Reference Group (PIRG) to improve the operation of the existing powers and immunities framework. The PIRG comprised carriers and property owner stakeholder groups including the Property Council of Australia, the Australian Local Government Association, rail and road authorities, and water and energy utilities.

The ideas in this consultation process have been drawn from the public submissions to the 2017 consultation process, discussions held at the PIRG and carrier workshops.

Your feedback on the proposals is important in assisting Government to consider what reforms are required to achieve a powers and immunities framework that meets the needs of modern Australia.

Relevant Documentation

Improving the telecommunications powers and immunities framework—

Published 16th Sep 2020

Download PDF (923.69 KB) Download DOC (1.04 MB)
Telecommunications services play an important and expanding role in how people in the community go about their daily lives and how businesses operate. The Government is committed to Australians having ready access to high-quality, reliable and affordable telecommunications services.

Participate

Started September 16, 2020 09:00 AEST
Ends October 30, 2020 17:00 AEDT
Days Remaining 7 of 44
Open

Formal Submission

We invite you to to tell us your views on this topic.

Please include:

  • contact name
  • organisation name, if applicable
  • contact details, including telephone number, postal and email addresses
  • confirmation whether or not your submission can be made public—published—or kept confidential.

All submissions to be made public need to meet the Digital Service Standard for accessibility. Any submission that does not meet this standard may be modified before being made public.

If your submission is to be made public, please ensure you do not include any personal information that you don't want to be published.

If your submission is confidential, please ensure each page of the submission is marked as confidential.

Please click on the 'Have your say now' button below to upload your submission.

Alternatively please email your completed template submission to powersandimmunities@communications.gov.au or send it to:

Rachel Blackwood
A/g Assistant Secretary, Spectrum and Telecommunications Deployment Branch
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
GPO Box 594
Canberra ACT 2601