Terms of Reference


PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES ACT 1968

REFERAL OF INQUIRY TO THE RURAL AND REGIONAL SERVICES AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT

INQUIRY ON REGIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS
INFRASTRUCTURE FOR BUSINESS

ORDER IN COUNCIL

The Lieutenant-Governor as the Governor’s deputy, with the advice of the Executive
Council, under section 4F of the Parliamentary Committees Act 1968, requests that the:

Rural and Regional Services and Development Committee of Parliament

Inquire into, consider and report to Parliament on:

The potential benefits to Victorian regional businesses from improved access to telecommunications infrastructure and services, in particular broadband infrastructure and services, and highlight any impediments that may stop businesses realising this potential. To this end, the Committee should consider the core issues of the:

1. current availability of telecommunication services at affordable prices for businesses in Victorian regional areas;

2. current availability of adequate telecommunications infrastructure for businesses in Victorian regional areas;

3. current level of competition in both the retail and wholesale telecommunications markets in Victorian regional areas;

4. current level of utilisation of available telecommunication infrastructure in regional Victoria;

5. effect that competition, in both the retail and wholesale telecommunications markets, has on the provision of telecommunication services to businesses in Victorian regional areas; and

6. effect that the current regulatory environment has on competition, in both the retail and wholesale telecommunications markets, in Victorian regional areas;

To make recommendations on any necessary or desirable actions that could be taken to assist Victorian regional businesses to be able to take advantage of any benefits from improved access to telecommunications infrastructure and services that may be identified.

The Committee should have regard to other reports that examine this matter in Victoria and other jurisdictions as well as on a national level and in particular:

1. The Telecommunications Services Inquiry 2000 (Besley);

2. The Regional Telecommunications Inquiry 2002 (Estens); and

3. “Australia’s Broadband Connectivity” 2003 (Broadband Advisory Group).

This Inquiry has been proposed to examine the above matters with a focus on identifying growth opportunities for Victorian regional businesses through improving access to telecommunication services and infrastructure by improving the Victorian regional telecommunication market environment.

Dated: 3 June 2003

Responsible Minister:
Steve Bracks
Premier

Signed
Acting Clerk of the Executive Council