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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1692 ..

Detail stage

Clause 1.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Postponement of orders of the day

Ordered that orders of the day Nos 3 to 5, Executive business, relating to the Electoral (Entrenched Provisions) Amendment Bill 2001, the Electoral Amendment Bill 2001 (No 2) and the Court Security Bill 2000 be postponed until the next day of sitting.

Utilities (Telecommunications Installations) Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 3 May 2001, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CORBELL (6.26): Mr Speaker, the Labor Party will be supporting this legislation today. The Utilities (Telecommunications Installations) Bill provides for certain provisions which currently sit in other pieces of legislation to be transferred to a new piece of legislation following the repeal of the Building and Services Act. The provision of access to telecommunications facilities is an important matter in terms of providing for competition amongst various utility providers, and also in terms of the community's right to have these services properly regulated.

The bill outlines a range of measures designed to ensure that we have a more effective regime relating to the access that utility providers are granted to utility network facilities, as well as protecting the rights of various leaseholders. It would appear that this bill achieves the appropriate balance.

The bill sets out the rights of a carrier in relation to the installation of a telecommunications facility on existing utility infrastructure. It also outlines the requirements for consent by the owner of the utility infrastructure to such installation. It outlines the continuing rights of carriers in relation to installations. Importantly, it also outlines the requirements that a utility provider or carrier must meet in relation to getting access to leased territory land. These are particularly important because they ensure that utility operators and carriers must operate responsibly. They must ensure that they access property in a responsible way.

In particular I note as an example, Mr Speaker, that under the legislation there is a requirement for a company seeking access to utility infrastructure to make sure that when they go into someone's backyard they secure any domestic animal in the backyard. That is an important provision. It protects the rights of leaseholders to compensation, or the utility infrastructure owner to compensation for any damage caused as a result of installation. It also outlines the requirements for production of identity cards to demonstrate to leaseholders and utility operators that a person is an authorised person in terms of seeking access to the infrastructure.

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