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Telecommunications Amendment Act 1998

  • - C2004A05320
  • In force - Latest Version
Act No. 4 of 1998 as made
An Act to amend the Telecommunications Act 1997, and for related purposes
Administered by: Communications and the Arts
Date of Assent 26 Mar 1998

 

 

 

 

Telecommunications Amendment Act 1998

 

No. 4, 1998

 

 

 

 

  

  


 

 

 

 

Telecommunications Amendment Act 1998

 

No. 4, 1998

 

 

 

 

An Act to amend the Telecommunications Act 1997, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................

2............ Commencement..................................................................................

3............ Schedule(s)..........................................................................................

4............ Application of nominated carrier amendments...................................

5............ Transitional basis for calculating NRS levy........................................

6............ First year for ACA’s annual report on NRS......................................

Schedule 1—Amendments                                                                                                

Telecommunications Act 1997                                                                                 

 


Telecommunications Amendment Act 1998

No. 4, 1998

 

 

 

An Act to amend the Telecommunications Act 1997, and for related purposes

[Assented to 26 March 1998]

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Telecommunications Amendment Act 1998.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

             (2)  Item 4 of Schedule 1 commences on the 28th day after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

3  Schedule(s)

                   Subject to section 2, each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

4  Application of nominated carrier amendments

                   The amendment made by item 4 of Schedule 1 applies to all nominated carriers, including those declared to be nominated carriers before the commencement of that item.

5  Transitional basis for calculating NRS levy

             (1)  This section applies for the purpose of calculating NRS levy for a quarter, if no assessment has yet been made by the ACA before the start of the quarter under section 193 of the Telecommunications Act 1997.

             (2)  Section 221F of the Telecommunications Act 1997 applies as if the reference to a section 193 assessment were a reference to an assessment made under section 308 of the Telecommunications Act 1991.

             (3)  The calculation in subsection 221G(2) of the Telecommunications Act 1997 is to be made using traffic minutes instead of eligible revenue.

             (4)  In this section:

traffic minutes means minutes of timed traffic, as set out in the most recent assessment made before the start of the quarter under section 308 of the Telecommunications Act 1991.

6  First year for ACA’s annual report on NRS

                   The first annual report required under section 221D of the Telecommunications Act 1997 is for the 1998-99 financial year.


 

Schedule 1Amendments

  

Telecommunications Act 1997

1  Section 7 (definition of National Relay Service)

Repeal the definition.

Subsections 22(1) and (4)

Omit “sections 20 and 21”, substitute “sections 20, 21 and 30”.

3  After subsection 30(4)

Insert:

          (4A)  A line does not form part of any line link to the extent that the line is on the customer side of the boundary of a telecommunications network.

Note:          Boundary of a telecommunications network is defined by section 22.

4  After section 81

Insert:

81A  Obligations of nominated carrier

             (1)  If at any time the nominated carrier does not own or operate the network units, this Act nevertheless applies to the nominated carrier in relation to the network units as if they were owned or operated by the nominated carrier.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not affect the application of this Act in relation to any other person who owns or operates the network units.

5  Section 143

Repeal the section.

6  After Part 7

Insert:

Part 7AThe National Relay Service

Division 1Definitions

221A  Definitions

                   In this Part:

levy quarter means a quarter for which NRS levy is payable.

National Relay Service or NRS has the meaning given by subsection 221B(1).

NRS contract means the contract under which the National Relay Service is provided.

NRS levy means the levy payable in accordance with this Part.

NRS provider means the person who provides the National Relay Service.

NRS service plan means a plan referred to in subsection 221B(2).

quarter means a period of 3 months ending on 30 September, 31 December, 31 March or 30 June.

section 193 assessment means an assessment made by the ACA under section 193.

taxpayer, for a quarter, means a person who is liable to pay NRS levy for the quarter.

Division 2The National Relay Service

221B  The National Relay Service (the NRS)

             (1)  A reference in this Part to the National Relay Service (or NRS) is a reference to a service that:

                     (a)  provides persons who are deaf, or who have a hearing and/or speech impairment, with access to a standard telephone service on terms, and in circumstances, that are comparable to those on which other Australians have access to a standard telephone service; and

                     (b)  is provided by a person under a contract with the Commonwealth.

             (2)  The NRS contract must provide for the NRS provider to prepare service plans for the NRS. The service plan must include at least the following matters:

                     (a)  timetables for the supply of the NRS; and

                     (b)  performance standards to be met by the NRS provider.

             (3)  The Minister must arrange for each NRS service plan to be published in whatever manner the Minister considers appropriate.

221C  Publication of costs of providing the NRS

             (1)  Before the start of each levy quarter, the NRS provider must give the Minister a written estimate of the total cost of the provider in providing the NRS during the quarter. The estimate must be prepared in accordance with the NRS contract. The Minister must cause the estimate to be published in the Gazette.

             (2)  Within 30 days after the end of each levy quarter, the NRS provider must give the Minister a written statement of the total cost of the provider in providing the NRS during the quarter. The statement must be prepared in accordance with the NRS contract. The Minister must cause the statement to be published in the Gazette.

221D  ACA reports and advice about NRS service plans

             (1)  The ACA must monitor all significant matters relating to the performance by the NRS provider of the provider’s obligations under an NRS service plan.

             (2)  As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, the ACA must give a written report to the Minister about the performance by the NRS provider during the financial year of the provider’s obligations under an NRS service plan.

             (3)  The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the Minister receives the report.

             (4)  In addition to the report under subsection (2), the ACA must give the Minister such reports or advice as the Minister requires in relation to an NRS service plan.

Division 3The NRS levy

221E  Levy quarters

                   NRS levy is payable for each of the quarters in a financial year, starting with the 1998-99 financial year.

221F  Persons liable to pay levy (taxpayers)

                   NRS levy for a quarter is payable by each person who:

                     (a)  is a participating carrier in relation to the financial year in which the quarter occurs; and

                     (b)  is covered by the most recent section 193 assessment made before the start of the quarter.

221G  Amount of levy

             (1)  The total levy for a quarter (the current quarter) is calculated as follows:

                     (a)  the starting point is the estimated NRS cost for the current quarter (the current estimate);

                     (b)  if there is a levy shortfall for the previous quarter, then that shortfall is added to the current estimate;

                     (c)  if there is a levy surplus for the previous quarter, then that surplus is deducted from the current estimate.

             (2)  Each taxpayer’s NRS contribution amount for the current quarter is calculated as follows:

Note:          Levy is imposed on the NRS contribution amount by the NRS Levy Imposition Act 1997.

             (3)  In this section:

actual NRS cost, for a quarter, means the amount published for the quarter under subsection 221C(2).

eligible revenue, for a taxpayer for a quarter, means the taxpayer’s eligible revenue as shown in the most recent section 193 assessment made before the start of the quarter.

estimated NRS cost, for a quarter, means the amount published for the quarter under subsection 221C(1).

levy shortfall, for a quarter, means the amount by which the estimated NRS cost for the quarter falls short of the actual NRS cost for the quarter.

levy surplus, for a quarter, means the amount by which the estimated NRS cost for the quarter exceeds the actual NRS cost for the quarter.

221H  Payment of levy

             (1)  NRS levy is payable to the ACA on behalf of the Commonwealth.

             (2)  A person who is liable to pay NRS levy for a quarter must pay it to the ACA on or before the 14th day of the second month in the quarter.

             (3)  Unpaid NRS levy may be recovered as a debt in a court of competent jurisdiction, by the ACA acting on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Division 4The NRS Reserve

221I  The NRS Reserve

             (1)  This subsection establishes a reserve called the NRS Reserve.

             (2)  The NRS Reserve is a component of the Reserved Money Fund.

             (3)  The purpose of the NRS Reserve is to make payments to the NRS provider under the NRS contract.

             (4)  The following amounts must be transferred to the NRS Reserve from the Consolidated Revenue Fund:

                     (a)  amounts of NRS levy that are credited to the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

                     (b)  interest from the investment of money in the NRS Reserve.

 

 

[Minister's second reading speech made in

House of Representatives on 3 December 1997

Senate on 9 March 1998]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(239/97)