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Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia Class Licence - ACMA Consultation 06/2021

Date : 15 / 04 / 2021
Author : Grant Willis VK5GR

Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia Class Licence - ACMA Consultation 06/2021

While the WIA has been focused on the main class licence submission, the team has also been monitoring the ACMA consultation pages for other issues that may affect the amateur service.

This year will see a number of major reforms take place, as a result of the passing of the Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Act 2020 in December 2020. This prompted a series of consultations to be released by ACMA relating to equipment rules, accredited persons and changes to a number of existing class licences.

Among the specific instruments being amended was the Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia Class Licence 2015. This class licences is used today to authorise visiting qualified radio amateurs to operate amateur radio stations within Australia for a period of up to 90 days. It is equivalent to the existing Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination 2015 that domestic amateur licensees are bound by.

In the ACMA proposal, they have stated that they will “require compliance with the general public exposure limits for EME as specified by the Australian Radiation and Nuclear Protection Safety Agency (ARPANSA) in the Radiation Protection Standard for Limiting Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields –100 kHz to 300 GHz (2021) or any instrument that replaces that standard.”
The ACMA has also stated in the consultation that “For these class licences, the proposed amendments are designed to ensure that the EME requirements for class-licensed users are harmonised with the requirements for users operating under the corresponding apparatus licence (the earth apparatus licence and the amateur apparatus licence).”
The WIA felt a response was required because the committee found that the proposed regulatory arrangements are inconsistent with the ACMA harmonisation objective. Further, we argued that direct compliance with the ARPANSA standard adds a considerable cost burden to a service such as the amateur service. In its proposal, the ACMA had not retained the distinct Level 1 and Level 2 EME assessment criteria that domestic amateur licensees are bound by.

To address this issue, WIA has proposed to ACMA that either:

• the relevant sections of the existing “Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Apparatus Licence) Determination 2015”, in particular the requirements outlined in Part 3 of this determination, be directly included in the Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia Class Licence, or;

• ACMA should convert the existing “Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Apparatus Licence) Determination 2015”, in particular the requirements outlined in Part 3, into a new standard which is then referenced under the new Section 3A of the proposed Overseas Amateur Visiting Australia Class Licence.

The net effect of this proposal would be to retain EME management parity between domestic and overseas visiting amateur licensees. The WIA will be watching this issue closely and will follow developments accordingly.



Page Last Updated: Thursday, 15 Apr 2021 at 12:07 hours by Lee Moyle

 

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