Under section 30 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the Act) the ACMA may by notice in writing determine the population of a licence area. In making a determination, the ACMA is to have regard to the most recently published census count prepared by the Australian Statistician.
In addition to determining the total population within each licence area, the ACMA also determines:
- the percentage of the population of Australia constituted by that licence area population; and
- the percentage of that licence area population that is attributable to an overlap with another licence area.
These statistics assist the ACMA in monitoring compliance with these control provisions in Part 5 of the Act:
- the 75 per cent population reach limit and the one station to a market rule for commercial television broadcasting under section 53 of the Act;
- the two stations to a market rule for commercial radio broadcasting under section 54 of the Act;
- the directorship limits for commercial broadcasting licences in sections 55, 56 and 56A;
- the cross media disclosure provisions in Division 5B of Part 5 of the Act; and
- the prohibition of transactions that result in an unacceptable three-way control situation in Division 5A of Part 5 of the Act.
For items 1 through to 4 above, two licence areas will be treated as one under section 51 of the Act where they overlap and the population attributable to the overlap area is more than 30% of the licence area population of one of those licence areas. Accordingly, any check of population overlaps should consider all licence areas that are shown to overlap the licence area in question. Section 51 does not apply to Division 5A of the Act.
View the Section 30 Schedule
The most recent determination of licence area populations of commercial television and commerical radio broadcasting licences was made by the ACMA on 16 June 2009.
- View by callsign or by licence area - this includes population and overlap information, licence area maps, and licence area descriptions for all commercial services
- Alternatively, you can download the schedule in full. An index to this schedule is also available.
For more information on licence area plans go to: