The Government’s controversial telco Bill, which would pave the way for Telstra’s structural separation, has survived a vote in the Senate and will be read for a second time.
The Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 was put before a vote this morning to be read a second time. The vote came down to 33 Senators in support of the Bill and 30 against.
Serious negotiations between the Government and the undecided cross bench Senators, Nick Xenophon and Steve Fielding, are now expected step up a gear. The Australian Greens have formally backed the Government’s plan, pending amendments.
According to AAP reports, last-minute negotiations between Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and Senator Xenophon have failed to convince the latter to back the plan outright.
Last week Senator Xenophon supported two motions to gag the Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, but voted against the motion on the third and final stage.
There are only two sitting days before Parliament rises for 2010. Telstra will only allow its shareholders to vote on structural separation if the Government has passed the Bill.