Proposal for alternative five-week exemption periods 2016 | ACMA

Proposal for alternative five-week exemption periods 2016

Consultation closes: 31 October 2016

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Draft variation instrument:
Broadcasting Services (Regional Commercial Radio—Specification of Periods for Subsections 43C(1A) and 61CD(2)) Variation Instrument 2016 (No. 1)  

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Existing instrument: 
Broadcasting Services (Regional Commercial Radio – Specification of Periods for Subsections 43C(1A) and 61CD(2)) Instrument 2012

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Proposed variation

The ACMA is conducting a consultation on a proposed variation to a legislative instrument that specifies five-week periods during which regional commercial radio licences are exempt from various local content requirements.

The proposed variation would make amendments to the existing instrument to change the five-week exemption periods for 13 regional commercial radio licences in the ACE Radio Network. This means that the exemption periods will commence in the third week of December each year, instead of the second week of December.

The five-week exemption periods specified in the proposed variation would replace the default five-week exemption periods set out in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 for the 13 ACE Radio Network services.

Background

Regional commercial radio licences are subject to local content licence conditions established under the Act. Subsections 43C(1A) and 61CD(2) of the Act set out annual five-week exemption periods, during which regional commercial radio licensees are exempt from their obligations to:

  • broadcast required amounts of local content
  • meet the minimum service standards for local news and information.

The Act sets out default exemption periods that run from the second week of December each year, but it also allows the ACMA to specify, by legislative instrument, different exemption periods for a particular licensee. Usually this would occur following the request of a licensee.

In July this year, the ACMA advised regional commercial radio licensees to submit an application for an alternative five-week exemption period, if they considered that this would be appropriate for their licences.

Issue for comment

Opportunity to provide feedback

The ACMA is seeking public comment on the proposed changes set out in the draft instrument. The closing date for submissions on the proposed legislative instrument is COB, Monday 31 October 2015.