Unlicensed radio operator fined and transmitter forfeited
After a detailed investigation by Australian Communications and Media Authority inspectors, Mr George Leoudis of Hurlstone Park, New South Wales, the operator of a Sydney Greek-language radio service, was last week convicted and fined for operating an unlicensed radio transmitter.
Michael Owen - VK3KI
After pleading not guilty to an offence against the Radiocommunications Act 1992, for the unlicensed operation of a radiocommunications device, Mr Leoudis received a penalty of $4000 plus court costs totalling $65, while his radio transmitter was forfeited to the Commonwealth.
'The radiofrequency spectrum is a key community resource for communications, and ACMA cannot and will not tolerate unauthorised or unlicensed use,' said Giles Tanner, General Manager of ACMA's Inputs to Industry Division. 'We are committed to vigorous enforcement of the rights of incumbent spectrum holders , and will not hesitate to pursue offenders in court, particularly in cases where offenders have paid no regard to warnings or otherwise taken genuine steps in mitigation.' 'Licensing of radiocommunications devices is often essential to avoid interference to other spectrum users. Any implicit sanctioning of illegal operators also disadvantages legitimate operators who may have paid substantial sums for access to scarce parts of the spectrum,' Mr Tanner said.
'While ACMA's default approach to compliance is to negotiate and resolve matters, we have had a number of recent court successes, across a number of the Acts we administer, and this judgement should be seen as further evidence of our willingness to prosecute when necessary,' said Chris Chapman, ACMA Chairman.
In handing down his sentence in the Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney, on 19 July 2006, Magistrate Brennan told Mr Leoudis that the operation of the transmitter without a licence was a 'blatant act' on his part. The matter was initially referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions when unlicensed transmissions were made by Mr Leoudis from May to July 2005 after he had received a number of prior warnings regarding such conduct.
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