Telstra eyes government red tape reduction for 'repeal day'

Telstra eyes government red tape reduction for 'repeal day'

Summary: Telstra is keen to see some reporting laws be repealed as part of the Australian government's 'repeal day' planned for March.

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As the new government prepares to repeal more than 8,000 laws, Telstra has suggested a few that it would like to see go.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is reportedly planning a "repeal day" in parliament for March, where it is hoping to cut down 8,000 laws dating back to 100 years ago that it believes are redundant, and others that the government believes are burdening businesses in Australia.

As the nation's incumbent telecommunications provider, Telstra is no stranger to regulation. In announcing Telstra's sale of 70 percent of its stake in directories business Sensis, CEO David Thodey said that Telstra would spend the coming weeks working through with the Department of Communications how the company plans to meet its carrier licence condition that it must continue to provide the printed White Pages phone numbers directory.

Thodey would not say whether this obligation is one that Telstra is seeking to be repealed by the Abbott government, stating that the idea of whether to abandon printing directories "needs to be thought through carefully" to consider the implications on people who do not have access to the internet, or prefer not to use the internet.

Thodey revealed that Telstra had filed a submission to the government for a number of areas where laws could be repealed, however.

"We think there's a certain amount of unnecessary red tape that doesn't really serve any great value to regulators, the government, or ourselves," he said.

"We think there are some good savings we can realise and they can realise."

Thodey said business reporting is one area that has become particularly painful for Telstra as the company moves to structurally separate its wholesale fixed-line business from the retail business.

"We were under accounting separation, and now we're moving towards structural separation, so it's been a bit of a double up in the reporting we're doing, and we think there is an opportunity for some rationalisation there," he said.

"And every time we make a report, somebody has to read it, and we think that's the sort of areas we can tidy up on."

Telstra is also set to recommence its negotiations with the government and NBN Co over its AU$11 billion deal to allow the Coalition government to potentially alter the deal to access Telstra's copper lines and hybrid fibre-coaxial networks for its alternative "multi-technology model" National Broadband Network that will drastically reduce the number of premises covered by fibre to the home.

"We are keen to get going in response now to the government's multi-technology mode architecture," Thodey said.

"We will hopefully start conversations as soon as everyone is on deck after the break. Before the end of this month, we'll get back going."

Topics: Telcos, Government, Government AU, Telstra, NBN

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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