AMATEUR LICENCES IN AUSTRALIA
Examinations, Licences and Paper-work!
This section provides an insight to the licencing structure for amateurs in Australia. It is a "work in progress" as over the years most amateurs have treated the matter of their licencing paper-work as ephemeral!
The earliest days
Initially, there was no need to licence transmitting or receiving equipment as there was no demand for spectrum.
In time the odd transmitter appeared - perhaps a Royal Navy ship, and to prevent confusion, the few experimenters made up their own identification or "callsign".
Walter Jenvey is a good example of this. In 1901 he used "RB" as his station identification which was an abbreviation for "Red Bluff", the location of his station.
As activity increased, experimenters came under the control of the Navy or Post Master General and licences together with a licence fee became applicable!
In 1905 the newly formed Federal Government of Australia proclaimed the Wireless Telegraphy Act(1905) which subsumed "control" of wireless from the Royal Navy and placed it into the hands of the Postmaster General.
The receipt (above) was issued to Andy Couper of Mareeba Qld. for his station licence XQM in 1914. Andy later became 4BW and then VK4BW.
Licence information Pre WWI (See link below)
This Time-Line provides an insight to the operating conditions which were applicable to early experimenters. The Post Master General's Department took over licencing from the Royal Navy when the Wireless Telegraphy Act was adopted by Parliament in 1905.
The Time-Line is based on extant material held in the WIA Archive and donated by members over the years.
Post WWI Licence Time-Line (See link below)
This Time-Line provides information about licencing conditions over the years - particularly with respect to when various grades of licence were introduced and modes of operation allowed. Here we used copies of official documents as the source of information, however, this was not always possible and in some cases other records have been used.
Licence Fees Time-Line (See link below)
Licence fees for Australian experimenters have been applicable since the introduction of the 1905 W/T Act, although there was a short period when fees were removed. However, they were quickly reinstated by the Minister apparently as a measure to limit the number of experimenters.
Initial annual fees were exorbitant, established at 3 Guineas (some $650 in current value). This was one of the reasons for the first meeting of experimenters and other interested people in Sydney during March 1910.
This Time-Line provides an indication as to how licence fees have varied over the years.
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