Federal Member For Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications

Albanese Government votes against scrutiny of its Optus response

Labor MPs have today voted against scrutiny over the Government’s handling of the Optus crisis.

The Coalition moved amendments to a motion for the inquiry aimed at examining what exactly the Government did – and didn’t do – as millions of Optus customers struggled with the massive outage.

In the Senate today, the Coalition sought to expand a proposal for an inquiry to include:

    • compensation offered by Optus
    • the role of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and its compensation scheme
    • actions taken by the Federal Government to support affected customers to receive fair compensation.

The Coalition also moved to include a reference on the steps taken by the Federal Government to ensure the access to essential services in response to the outage, including:

    • identification of affected government services
    • the establishment of alternative contact arrangements for affected government services
    • communication with Australians on those alternative arrangements.

The Coalition also sought to ensure that the inquiry examines the actions taken by the Federal Government and the Australian Communications and Media Authority on the day of the outage.

While Labor opposed these amendments, the Senate overwhelmingly supported the Coalition measures by a vote of 39-20.  The Senate then voted to support the inquiry.

“Labor voted against scrutiny of its handling of the Optus crisis,” Mr Coleman said.

“There are serious questions about how the Government responded to the outage yesterday. For instance, what action did the Government put in place to keep its essential services up and running?

“Millions of Australians rely on these services, and we need to know how the Government responded.

“Australians deserve to know what the Government was doing to help all those householders and businesses affected by this crisis. These issues will now be scrutinised by the inquiry.”

The Hon. David Coleman MP
Federal Member for Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications