At the most recent Board meeting, the Board approved the Authority’s 2015-16 Corporate Plan. The Corporate Plan is prepared annually to set out how the Authority will deliver on its obligations in the following year, taking into consideration longer term strategic goals. In developing the Corporate Plan, extensive consultation was undertaken to capture a sector view on our future requirements and all of our roles in meeting those requirements. Information on the Plan will be available on our website in July.
In line with the Government’s strategic direction, the Authority is collaborating with agencies and other stakeholders to progress the next phase of the infrastructure rationalisation program. This includes undertaking the pilot, which would significantly assist the Authority and agencies with practical information on how to optimise benefits for frontline personnel and further refine the implementation of the following phases of the program.
During this time of developing the Government’s operational telecommunications strategy, the Board has been considering the governance arrangements and supporting instruments, including its legislation, to determine if any changes are required to best position the Authority to deliver the strategy. Changes to any arrangements will be done in consultation with stakeholders.
The Board acknowledged the extreme weather New South Wales experienced in April and the tragic consequences, which, sadly, included the loss of life. The work of our emergency service agencies are to be commended especially during these difficult incidents. The Authority will undertake ongoing detailed operational and network analysis of the impacts of these weather events.
The Board considered developments in national public safety mobile broadband (PSMB) capability, where the Productivity Commission is currently reviewing the costs and benefits of a national PSMB. The Commission’s inquiry is important as PSMB could play a significant role in delivering mission critical data services to our emergency services and law enforcement agencies. The Authority is taking the lead in preparing a submission to the inquiry from NSW, working with stakeholders including representatives from other jurisdictions.
The spectrum management reforms proposed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and were noted by the Board. These reforms are expected to simplify existing regulatory structures and provide greater use of market mechanisms. However most of these reforms require further consideration and planning. The Authority will actively participate in the ongoing development and consultation processes.
The Board also noted that ACMA has been liaising with the States and Territories on the introduction of new licensing arrangements for the harmonised government spectrum. While a number of outstanding issues remain to be resolved, NSW is well-placed to implement any new arrangements given the preparatory work that the Authority and our stakeholders have undertaken.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Ms Elizabeth Ward who has resigned from the Board to take a position as a Chief Executive in the private sector. Congratulations to Liz on her new role and our thanks for her contribution as a member of the Board.
Chairperson, NSW Telco Authority