ALGA has provided its submission to the Department of Communications and the Arts consultation paper on Possible amendments to telecommunications powers and immunities, which was released on 9 June 2017.
ALGA noted that the demand for better mobile services and demand for data over mobile and fixed line services is growing rapidly and this brings with it growing pressures to expand the number of telecommunications stations and facilities.
ALGA also noted the intention to:
- clarify the operation of existing powers and immunities
- amend references in the Telecommunications Code to reflect changes to legislation since the Code was drafted, and
- consider how new technologies and new types of facilities under the multi technology mix can be rolled out more efficiently and effectively.
Communities through their local governments have also expressed significant concerns over the Low Impact Facilities Determination, specifically adequate consultation with local government, as well as adequate remediation following the installation of infrastructure.
ALGA emphasised that the amendments proposed in the consultation paper have caused serious concerns in the local government sector, insofar as they override important planning, consultation and safety assessment provisions. The desire of carriers to speed up their installation processes, avoid delays associated with the planning process and reduce costs could reduce or eliminate oversight and have the potential for adverse consequences in terms of structural integrity, safety, urban design and interference with other infrastructure.
The full copy of ALGA’s submission is available on the ALGA website.