Changes proposed for amateur radio operators

Wednesday, 05 November, 2003

A review designed to simplify arrangements for amateur radio licence operators has been launched by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA).

Releasing a discussion paper recently, outgoing ACA Chairman Tony Shaw called for comment from amateur licence holders and other interested parties on the regulatory and licensing arrangements for the Australian amateur service.

Mr Shaw said the discussion paper, A Review of Amateur Service Regulation, had been prompted by changes made at the recent ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) in Geneva, which revised international arrangements for the amateur service.

"This has given the ACA the opportunity to revise and simplify the regulation and licensing of the amateur service in Australia," Mr Shaw said.

Among the options being considered by the ACA are the removal of the requirement for amateur operators to be proficient in Morse code, possible amalgamation of current licensing options, whether amateur stations should operate under an apparatus licence or class licence and changes to third party traffic arrangements.

"The paper also covers the possible introduction of a foundation amateur licence to encourage more participation in amateur activities by hobbyists and the possible outsourcing of the management of amateur examinations, certificates of proficiency and call signs," Mr Shaw said.

The ACA has written to all 13,729 amateur licensees to advise them of the options being considered and inviting them to participate in the review. ACA staff will also travel to all state capital cities to conduct public forums on the options under consideration. Dates for these visits will be made available on the ACA website at

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