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2015 News Releases




Change is coming for the ACMA

Date : 23 / 06 / 2015
Author : Roger Harrison - VK2ZRH

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is anticipated to change in significant ways following a review of its "objectives, functions, structure, governance and resource base", to be completed before the end of 2015.

In announcing the review, the Minister for Communications, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, said it was " . . . to ensure the regulator is able to effectively deal with challenges arising from a rapidly changing communications sector . . . to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose for both the contemporary and future communications regulatory environment."

Noting that the communications sector has changed dramatically since the ACMA’s inception in 2005, the Minister observed that the national broadband network rollout, the pervasive use of digital devices and the extensive use of social media". . . are all combining to make communications services a more integral part of every Australian home and business."

The ACMA has regulatory responsibilities under the Radiocommunications Act 1992, the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 and the Telecommunications Act 1997, along with an extensive range of subordinate legislation and regulations.

The Department of Communications is conducting the review, supported by a reference group of Australian and international experts. An issues paper will be published shortly and the Department will call for submissions. A report will be presented to the Minister by the end of 2015.

The announcement of the Review, and related documentation, is available at this Link

The Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005 (the ACMA Act) identifies the full scope of functions of the Authority, set out on the Review’s Terms of Reference, available at this Link

The Terms of Reference advise that the review will "consider whether any of the objectives and functions of, or services provided by, the ACMA can cease, be provided by other agencies or the industry itself. It will also consider whether there are objectives and functions of, or services provided by, other agencies that may be more efficiently and effectively delivered by the ACMA."

The WIA expects to participate in the Department of Communications' consultation activities. The Institute will prepare a submission to the ACMA Review following the release of the issues paper.

This review was anticipated by the WIA arising from attending the ACMA's RadComms 2014 conference, its January 2015 industry workshop and liaison meetings over the past nine months.


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