ACA Responds to WIA Concerns at Delay in Introduction of New Licences
On 4 May 2005 WIA President, Michael Owen, VK3KI, announced that the WIA had been advised by the ACA that it was then anticipated that the Outcomes of the Review, originally promised for early 2005, including the new licences would not be able to be introduced before “the third quarter of 2005”. He described this delay and particularly the introduction of the Foundation Licence as very disappointing.
Michael Owen - VK3KI
A few days later, on 7 May, at the Open Forum associated with the WIA Annual General Meeting, the members present unanimously passed a resolution expressing their concern, and requesting the Authority to introduce the new Foundation Licence and the new licence privileges without further delay and in any event not later than 30 June 2005, and instructing the WIA President to convey these views to the Authority.
On 10 May 2005 the President wrote to the Acting Chair of the ACA, and the following are extracts from that letter:
“The WIA accepts that the Outcomes addresses many matters currently covered by the ” … “the Amateur Determination, but perhaps the most immediately important matter in the eyes of many was the introduction of the Foundation Licence, as an entry level licence and a completely new concept in Australian amateur service licensing, as well as the important changes to create the new intermediate licence, called in the Outcomes paper the Standard licence, and the minor changes to adjust the third level of licence, the Advanced Licence.
The WIA also believes that these licence structure changes are of immediate importance, as there are many who see the Foundation Licence as their opportunity to become radio amateurs, because many of those involved in education see the Foundation Licence as meeting a very real and immediate need, and because so many of the amateur radio clubs around Australia have prepared to encourage the implementation of the new licence structure.
Equally important to many are the changes in privileges for the existing licences. Obviously it would not be possible to introduce the Foundation Licence without introducing the necessary changes for the other two classes.
The WIA believes that the further delay is unacceptable, and would be counter productive, and rather than promoting a licence structure appropriate to today’s needs, will simply create frustration, loss of motivation and, unfortunately, ill will.
The WIA … believes” other “issues can be separated from the licence structure and privilege issues …
Accordingly, and formally, on behalf of the WIA I request that the Authority proceed to introduce the amateur service licence structure contemplated in the Outcomes paper without further delay and in any event not later than 30 June 2005, with the WIA accepting that other changes to the regulation of the amateur service will be delayed.”
The WIA received today (26 May 2005) a response from Dr Bob Horton, Acting Chairman of the ACA.
After expressing his regret at the delay, Dr Horton wrote:
“In order to expedite the introduction of the core elements of the new licensing arrangements, the ACA has already taken steps to implement the Review Outcomes in two phases. The first phase will involve the minimum change necessary to introduce the Advances, Standard and Foundation Amateur licences. All other changes including the class licence that will allow overseas visiting Amateurs to operate in Australia without the need to apply for individual licences, will be implemented in the second phase.
I am aware that the WIA continues to contribute significantly towards ensuring the successful introduction of the new licence categories. On behalf of the ACA, I would like to thank the WIA for this contribution.
Although the two phase procedure will enable the ACA to introduce the three new Amateur licences in the quickest time practical, it is still not possible for the ACA to guarantee that the new changes will be introduced before 30 June 2005.”
WIA President, Michael Owen, said that the WIA was grateful for the response and that while it was perfectly understandable that the ACA could not guarantee introduction of the new licence structure by 30 June, he believed that there was a reasonable prospect that this could be achieved and the WIA hoped that every effort would be made by the ACA to achieve that result.
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