Australia NSW Parliament Passes New Law to Support Critical Communications
Friday, November 30, 2018 | Comments

Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) parliament recently passed the Government Telecommunications Act 2018, repealing and replacing the former Government Telecommunications Act 1991.

The new act is centered on five key themes. The act provides a legislative basis to support delivery of the Critical Communications Enhancement Program. The legislation also introduces strong penalties for individuals or businesses damaging or interfering with critical communications infrastructure and establishes provision for reasonable compensation to the NSW government for any such damage.

In addition, the act provides clarity to public-safety agencies, government agencies, statutory authorities, commercial entities and private citizens regarding the authority’s function and remit.

The act uses modern terms and definitions and better reflects the authority’s contemporary role, facilitates project delivery and future-proofs operations. In addition, the legislation better aligns to broader NSW government priorities including the 10-year operational communications strategy from 2015 and the premier’s priorities.

A legislative review identified that the terms and conditions of the 1991 act no longer reflected the environment in which the NSW Telco Authority operates. The review also included two rounds of consultation leading to the development of a new draft bill, which was tabled in Parliament in October.

The new act will be proclaimed at a future date, and the authority will advise of its commencement in due course.

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