Schedule 3A submarine cables legislation
Submarine telecommunications cables link Australia to global telecommunications networks and are vital to the national economy. Due to their nature and locations on the seabed, these cables are vulnerable to damage from activities such as the anchoring of ships, some types of fishing, dumping of materials, dredging and minerals exploration.
Schedule 3A of the Telecommunications Act 1997 establishes a regime for the protection of international submarine telecommunications cables.
It provides the ACMA with the authority to declare protection zones over international submarine telecommunication cables considered to be of national significance.
Activities within the protection zones that are likely to cause damage to cables may be prohibited and/or restricted and are subject to heavy criminal penalties. Under Schedule 3A, certain activities, including exploring for resources and mining and certain fishing activities are prohibited or restricted in protection zones.
Last updated: 28 October 2015