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Grants and Research Assistant

Part-time

This is a great opportunity to join our small and highly effective team. Reporting to our Director of Operations, you will hit the ground running to administer our annual grants program and commissioned research projects. 

The Grants and Research Assistant is responsible for the following day-to-day activities:

  • Primary point of contact and a supportive resource for grant applicants and research partners.
  • Processing grant applications and liaising with applicants
  • Assisting with pre- and post-award administration, including use of SmartyGrants software to monitor and record project progress
  • Monitoring & supporting project partners to ensure they meet activity, budget and reporting milestones in a timely manner
  • Assisting with the publication of ACCAN Grant and Research outputs and promotion, including editing, proofing, and drafting of copy for ACCAN’s website and other publications, ensuring they are inclusive and accessible
  • Assisting with building the profile of ACCAN research in the community
  • Curating ACCAN’s research bibliography, stock of printed resources and ISBN.

The telco regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), has recently consulted on proposals to amend the Telecommunications (Listed Infringement Notice Provisions) Declaration 2022 (the IN Declaration). The IN Declaration allows the ACMA to issue infringement notices (fines) when telcos don’t follow certain rules.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) recently submitted to the Department of Home Affairs’ National Security Action Plan Discussion Paper. As the leading voice for communications consumers in Australia, ACCAN continues to monitor a range of data rights and privacy issues. ACCAN responded to questions 14 and 15 in the discussion paper which inquired about how to foster consumer trust in data security.

Question 14 in the discussion paper asked whether there is sufficient public information about data security. ACCAN noted that government data security information for consumers is spread across several websites and recommended the Federal Government further invest in quality, accessible education resources to be housed in a single, well-publicised location.

ACCAN’s purpose, as outlined in our Strategic Plan, is to work for “communications services that are trusted, inclusive, accessible and available for all.”

In 2022-23 ACCAN will focus on the following priority areas, informed by the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and natural disasters on consumers’ use of communications services and the need for accessible and easy-to-understand consumer education and information about communications issues. At the same time, we will be responsive to emerging issues, and engage with government and industry consultations in areas of significance for communications consumers, including the converging areas of media, broadcasting and digital platforms.

Our policy priorities are developed in close consultation with ACCAN members and are informed by our knowledge and analysis of the communications market.

Telstra and TPG Telecom (TPGT) have asked for ACCC authorisation to share their separately owned spectrum for the delivery of mobile services in a regional coverage zone. As part of the arrangement, Telstra and TPGT will also consolidate their mobile towers and TPGT will gain access to some of Telstra’s coverage.

Communications Alliance, the peak body for the telco industry, has sought feedback on a new draft Number Management – Use of Numbers by Customers Code. This draft Code replaces two former Industry Codes, that of C566:2005 Rights of Use of Numbers Code and C554:2004 Rights of Use of Premium Rate Service Numbers Code.

Local number portability allows consumers to transfer – or ‘port’ – their local landline telephone number to a new service with a different telco provider. 

The Local Number Portability Code (the Code) outlines the procedures that telcos must follow in relation to local number porting. It is important that the Code is thorough and fair so that consumers do not lose their local number in the process, or face lengthy delays when switching telco providers.

ACCAN recently submitted to The Treasury’s Statutory Review of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) Issues paper. The review, conducted by Elizabeth Kelly PSM, considers whether the existing statutory framework of the CDR is fit-for-purpose. As the peak body that represents all consumers on communications issues, ACCAN has engaged with the development of the CDR, especially as it relates to the telecommunications sector.

Unwanted text messages can be incredibly annoying, especially when it feels like you can’t do anything to stop them. However, some text messages can be sent with the intent to cause harm and need to be treated with caution.

Scamwatch reports that Australians lost over $1.4 million to scam text messages in January alone. According to that report, text messages are now the most popular method for scammers to target people. While both the government and the telecommunications industry have announced that they’re looking into solutions for this problem, there are still a few things you can do to keep yourself safe.

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The ACMA has sought comment on Draft Captioning Reduction orders numbers 00132-00137 inclusive.  Whilst ACCAN is mindful of the goal of reaching 100 percent of captioning on subscription television services by 2032 as defined in the Broadcast Services Act, as the mentioned services are specifically racing services, a lot of information is already printed on screen and ACCAN does not see significant detriment to consumers by these orders being granted.

ACCAN has recently submitted to the five-year independent review of the TIO in a joint submission with Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Counselling Australia and WEstjustice. Our submission highlighted the vital role that the TIO performs when dealing with consumers’ unresolved phone and internet complaints. We identified areas where the TIO could expand and improve its activities so that it continues to meet the Australian Government’s Benchmarks for Industry-Based Customer Dispute Resolution.

Grandson helping grandmother find ways to stay connectedStruggling with the cost of your internet or phone service? ACCAN has put together a list of telco offers to help targeted groups stay connected.

As this list only shows offers for targeted groups, there may be alternative products and services out there for general consumers that meet your needs, so it’s also worth comparing plans. To do so, head to an online comparison site, such as WhistleOut or Finder. ACCAN has also prepared a money saving guide with tips to reduce your telco bill.

If you are unable to meet your bills and are in financial hardship, check out ACCAN’s hardship portal for more information on what you can do.

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