Exemptions from pit and pipe requirements

To facilitate the rollout of telecommunications to new premises, Part 20A of the Telecommunications Act 1997 generally requires developers to have fibre-ready pit and pipe installed in their projects.

Developers may be exempt from the requirements in certain situations. For example, developers could be exempt where existing pit and pipe are available and can be re-used.

Developers are also able to claim an exemption for certain types of developments in rural and remote areas where it is unlikely that fixed-line infrastructure will be installed and pit and pipe are not warranted.

This exemption is targeted at developments in rural, bushland and remote areas where telecommunications would generally be offered by direct buried cable, wireless or satellite services that do not need pit and pipe infrastructure. The exemption was not generally applicable in suburban contexts.

The exemption instrument cover developments where:

  • no network utilities or only above-ground electricity lines will be installed in proximity to building lot (i.e. they are relatively remote and do not have mains water, sewerage or underground electricity), and
  • there is no kerb and channelling constructed, or planned to be constructed, and
  • the average length of the street frontages of the building lots within the development is 60 metres or more (i.e. they were larger rural type blocks), and
  • the development is not in a current or announced NBN fixed-line network rollout area.

The exemption is only intended to exempt developments outside NBN Co's fixed-line footprint. You can access information about NBN Co's rollout areas by visiting the NBN Co website or using its online eligibility tool for new developments.

As a condition of the exemption instrument, developers that meet the above criteria and wish to claim an exemption need to notify the Secretary of this department by filling in this form. Developers should retain evidence of the notification to the Secretary of the department and the information on which it was based, to substantiate that their particular real estate development project met the conditions of the exemption.

We keep a register of the developments exempted from the Part 20A requirements. This register can be found here: 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016.

If a locality is further developed in the future, that new development would need to be assessed in terms of whether it was subject to Part 20A of the Act or would require further exemption.

Developers that have falsely claimed an exemption under the instrument are subject to legislative penalties.

The department does not provide legal advice. You should seek your own independent legal advice if you have queries about exemptions under the instrument.

In addition to these standing exemptions, there is scope under Part 20A to also seek an individual exemption directly in writing from the Minister for Communications, Cities, Urban Infrastructure and the Arts. If you wish to seek an individual exemption you should contact us by email at new.developments@communications.gov.au. Your request for an exemption should be addressed to the Minister and set out your reasons for seeking the exemption and what telecommunications services you have arranged to make available to people occupying premises in your development.

Register of exempted developments

We keep a register of the developments exempted from the Part 20A requirements.

This register can be found by clicking on the relevant year: 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016.