Infringement notices are meant to be a quick, flexible method of
dealing with less serious contraventions of a particular
Currently, ACMA can issue an infringement notice for breaches of
the civil penalty provisions in the Telecommunications Act
and the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service
Standards) Act 1999, but with some important exceptions.
Currently, it can't issue infringement notices for breaches
of the USO or Customer Service Guarantee performance benchmarks
unless they are in a listed infringement notice provision.
Although the Telecommunications Act says that the
maximum penalty for a breach of these listed infringement notice
provisions is 60 penalty units ($6,600), the Minister can impose a
penalty of up to 18,000 penalty units ($1.98 million) for
particular kinds of breaches.
The consultation paper proposes that the Minister will determine
a higher infringement notice penalty for some of the ACMA's
proposed listed infringement notice provisions. As a result, if a
body corporate is issued an infringement notice for a contravention
of sections 68 (carrier licence conditions) or 101 (service
provider obligations) which involves a contravention of one of
those listed infringement notice provisions, the notice will have
to specify the higher penalty determined by the Minister.
So what will this higher penalty rate be? That depends upon the
breach, but the highest will be 9,000 units (ie. ($990,000) for a
breach of the payphone performance benchmarks.
The matters on which submissions are invited are:
whether the proposed infringement notice penalties in the table
whether the Minister should determine an infringement notice
penalty for any of the other proposed listed infringement notice
provisions in the ACMA consultation paper;
if other breaches should be listed infringement notice
provisions, whether they should attract a different infringement
notice penalty; and
any other relevant matter.
When do submissions have to be in by?
Submissions are due by 5.00 pm on Monday 19 September 2011.
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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