Objections to land access activities proposed by carriers
The land access powers of carriers
Telecommunications carriers build infrastructure to serve current and future needs of customers and the community. To help them do this, carriers have been given powers and immunities to access land to inspect, install certain infrastructure and maintain a range of facilities on land without the need for permission from the land owner or occupier, or state or territory planning approval. Carriers are required to comply with laws and codes when exercising these powers.
Owners and occupiers may object to proposed land access activity
Land owners and occupiers of land may object to proposed land access activity on limited grounds, within certain timeframes. When a land owner or occupier objects, a carrier must make reasonable efforts to consult with the land owner or occupier about the activities. If the land owner or occupier and carrier are unable to resolve the objections, the land owner or occupier can ask the carrier to refer the objection to the TIO. If the land owner or occupier asks the carrier to refer the objection to the TIO, the carrier must do so.
These land access powers are an important part of a broader regulatory framework, with the purpose of ensuring the availability of accessible and affordable telco services for Australians.
The TIO’s role in determining objections
We have a role in determining objections from land owners and occupiers to land access activities proposed by carriers – including the installation of low-impact facilities, land inspections and facility maintenance.
Under current law, carriers are required to refer unresolved land access objections to the TIO when requested by the land owner or occupier, and carriers must comply with any resulting directions made by the TIO. In some circumstances carriers may also refer an objection to the TIO.
In referring unresolved land access objections to the TIO, we ask carriers use this Carrier Referral Template.
Guidelines on our land access jurisdiction
For more information, please see our current Guidelines on Land Access Jurisdiction 2022.
These Guidelines were written to help both carriers and land owners/occupiers better understand the land access process, as well as each other’s rights and obligations. It is a handy reference for carriers who are thinking about accessing land, and for land owners/occupiers who are approached about proposed land access activities.