Greens win Optus Inquiry with public hearings, Senate powers


The Greens have secured a public-facing Senate Inquiry into the significant Optus outage that affected millions on November 8. The Inquiry will be vested with the powers of the Senate to compel witnesses to appear and answer questions publicly. 

The Senate Inquiry will be chaired by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, spokesperson for Communications and Manager of Greens Business in the Senate:

“Optus failed Australia on November 8 but instead of fronting up, they tried to phone it in. 

“This Inquiry will be vested with the powers of the Senate to compel Optus bosses to appear publicly and provide the answers and the solutions that Australians deserve.

“The lives and livelihoods of millions were acutely disrupted on November 8; phones were dead, the internet down, banking broken, childcare centres closed, schools impacted. The public deserves better.

“We want those affected to be fairly compensated and to work so this doesn't happen again. The inquiry will look at what responsibility Optus has to protect the public, not just their profits.

“The question of compensation will be asked and it’s our hope that the CEO will have the answers that Australians and 10 million Optus customers expect and deserve.

“The inquiry will also look into the role of the Commonwealth Government in ensuring Australians have access to essential, reliable telecommunications going forward.

“Optus is a big corporation with too much market power. The people who have been ripped off and let down deserve better.”

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young Motion for Urgent Senate Inquiry, passed November 9

Terms of reference:

The Optus network outage that occurred on the 8th of November 2023 and its impact on Australians and the services that they rely on, with particular reference to:

a) communications from Optus to affected customers

b) the steps that Optus is taking to ensure that this doesn't happen again

c) the compensation offered to affected customers

d) the role of government in ensuring Australians have reliable access to telecommunications technology

e) any other related matters

Press conference with Senators Sarah Hanson-Young, Senator Larissa Waters and Senator Nick McKIm