Merry Christmas from the WIA
The WIA would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas.
Phil Wait - VK2ASD
2014 was an important year. Firstly, we managed to repair the WIA’s finances, and the WIA is now on track to show a small surplus this year, with the full benefit not becoming apparent until the end of 2015 - quite a turn-around. The total WIA membership is about the same as it was last year prior to the membership fee increase, and it was very pleasing to see such a strong number of new WIA members, and many previous members re-joining throughout 2014.
A digital edition of AR Magazine has been available for member download sine early 2014, and continues to be very popular with members.
The Department of Communications Spectrum Review and the remake of the Amateur Licence Conditions Determination were both initiated in 2014. These are two areas where we see substantial opportunities to improve the licence conditions, and increase the public benefit, of amateur radio. The WIA made a series of major submissions to the Department of Communications and to the ACMA on these issues, and it will continue to take a very pro-active stance as they play-out over the next couple of years.
The Department of Communications recently released the "Spectrum Review – Potential Reform Directions" paper for public comment. Many of the proposals contained in the Directions Paper are consistent with the WIA’s submission.
The WIA also made submissions to the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum reviews. The 3.5GHz review is now on-hold, at least in the short term, until options for the use for that spectrum become clearer.
More recently, we embarked on a full review of the WIA’s Repeater and Beacon Recommendation service. The new policy has now been placed on the WIA website together with some background information and a summary of the responses received to a draft for comment.
Finally, we are currently reviewing some of the amateur band plans, and we propose to place a draft of the new plans on the WIA website for public comment in the new year.
I would like to sincerely thank our staff and our many volunteers, and our affiliated clubs, who have achieved so much in 2014. It’s always a problem signalling anybody out for special mention, as there are so many people who have helped the WIA over the past year. For instance, Dale Hughes, VK1DSH, continues to put in a huge amount of work and his own time chairing the ITU group which is investigating the possibility of a new Amateur allocation at 5.3MHz, and preparing for WARC 2015, a huge amount of work taking place largely in the background.
Volunteers working directly with the WIA, and through the affiliated club network, are the backbone of the organisation, and their efforts are all greatly appreciated. All Australian radio amateurs benefit, one way or another, from the time and effort put-in by WIA volunteers.
The New Year will continue to be a busy one, as the various reviews continue, but for now, from myself and the WIA board, I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year. Hopefully I’ll find some time to rebuild the antenna that came down in the last Sydney storm, and see some of you on air. You might find me on 40mx AM.
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