The Telecommunications Act 1997: Summary of Implications for New South Wales
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Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion.
Briefing Paper No. 13/1997 by G. Griffith and S. Smith
On 1 July 1997 the Federal Telecommunications Act 1997 and the associated legislative package came into effect. Among other things, the legislation establishes a scheme for the regulation of overhead cables and mobile phone towers. As such, it has significant implications for both State and local government and the purpose of this paper is to present a summary of these.
The key provisions of the legislation in this regard are found in Schedule 3 of the Telecommunications Act 1997, which sets out the powers and immunities relating to telecommunication carriers. However, it is important to note that the focus of that Schedule is with those matters which remain under Federal jurisdiction, thus leaving it to the States and Territories to expand their own laws to fill whatever legal vacuum that remains.
What has emerged is a complex scheme, involving overlapping Federal and State powers.
The operation of that scheme is set out in diagrammatic form in Appendix A.