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2017 News Releases




WIA journal to go bi-monthly and exam fees reviewed

Date : 20 / 09 / 2017
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) board has been considering for many months changes to its highest expenditure, the publication and distribution of Amateur Radio magazine.

At the same time, after discussions with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the fee structure associated with exams may have to rise to cover costs. About six weeks ago Greg VK2GPK described how the WIA had been operating at a loss for the past few years of about $50,000 per annum, and that the magazine had an expenditure of $180,000 last financial year.

The WIA board has liaised with the Publications Committee and taken into account the cost savings it has offered, the necessary contract change lead-times, and feedback from members on the continuation of a paper magazine. WIA Director Greg Kelly VK2GPK said the board decision taken on September 12, was that the number of issues per year would be reduced from 11 to 6, stating with the first 2018 edition in February. This will hopefully produce cost savings in the vicinity of 30 per cent for the January to December 2018 year. The Publications Committee meeting on September 25 is expected to have the plan then hold discussions soon with advertisers, suppliers and regular contributors.

Meantime, another major cost saving is in the ACMA contract for exam and callsign services. Greg VK2GPK said the WIA is expected to operate the licence qualification and callsign functions carried out on ACMA's behalf at cost-recovery only. That is that the fees charged should cover the WIA costs without either a significant under or over-recovery - a small percentage, say 5%, either way is fine. Our current under-recovery is about 20%. This has occurred for two reasons: The number of exams has dropped and time and costs of servicing the licence component of the contract have increased. In many cases the charges are not even close to recovering the WIA costs. The board has agreed in principle, after discussions with and support of ACMA, to increase the ACMA contract charges - which haven't changed since 2009. The new charges are yet to be decided, will be unpopular with some, but are most likely to occur this year and take effect in 2018.

The urgent priority has been maintaining the WIA as a "going concern" - this was in no way assured at the time when the new board began in May.
A full report on these matters is in the WIA News for Sunday, 17 Sep 2017, at the following Link


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