26 November, 2001
Improved radio coverage for Noosa and Mt Tamborine
The Australian Broadcasting Authority has varied the radio licence area plans for Gympie and Nambour, making spectrum available for additional translator services for the existing commercial services in the Noosa/Tewantin area to rectify a signal deficiency.
The new (unallocated) commercial radio service in the Nambour licence area will also have additional spectrum made available for a translator in the Noosa/Tewantin area.
The ABA has also varied the Remote North East Zone licence area plan to make an alternative frequency available for the commercial radio service, 4SUN, at Mt Tamborine. However, the ABA has decided not to make spectrum available to extend the 4SUN service into Caloundra. The ABA has also decided to make spectrum available at Mt Tamborine for 4SUN's additional licence that was made available under s.39 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.
"Before deciding on the most effective solution for the existing commercial radio services in Gympie, Nambour and the Remote North East Zone to provide an adequate service to all of their current licence areas, the ABA took into account the views of all who made submissions to the draft variations," said Professor David Flint, ABA Chairman. "Providing additional translator services for the existing services allows listeners access to all of the radio services that are licensed to serve the Noosa/Tewantin area and the Mt Tamborine area."
The ABA is proposing to review the planning and licensing framework for remote commercial radio services, with a view to identifying possible alternative approaches for providing commercial radio services to listeners in remote Australia and to strengthen the viability of such services.
The ABA notes the findings of the recent Inquiry into Regional Radio by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications, Transport and the Arts concerning difficulties faced by licensees in attempting to service all areas within the remote commercial radio services zone and the recommendations concerning improved access to commercial radio services in remote areas. In conducting the review the ABA will also take account of the potential improvement in access to radio services in remote communities resulting from the Government's proposed programs to extend services.
The ABA's investigation will examine the nature and characteristics of remote commercial radio services, issues affecting the commercial viability of these services, the appropriateness of current planning and licensing arrangements for remote commercial radio services, and alternative arrangements for delivery of commercial radio services to remote areas (including, but not limited to technological issues). The terms of reference for the ABA investigation will be announced when the investigation commences in the New Year.
Media contact: Donald Robertson, ABA Manager Media and PR on (02) 9334 7980.
The licence area plans for radio in Gympie and Nambour were determined in December 2000. The licence area plans contained details of all national, commercial, community and open narrowcasting radio broadcasting services that are available using the broadcasting services bands of the radiofrequency spectrum.
The variation to the licence area plan for the Remote North East Queensland market determined in December 2000 contained changes to the existing commercial radio service 4SUN and the allocation of 4SUN's second commercial licence under s.39 of the Broadcasting Services Act (the Act).
Draft variations to the Gympie, Nambour and Remote North East Zone licence area plans were released for comment in July 2001, with close of comment on 24 August 2001. The draft contained proposals to make channel capacity available for additional translator services for the existing commercial radio services in Gympie and Nambour and for the unallocated additional commercial radio service, in the Noosa/Tewantin area to rectify a signal deficiency.
The drafts also proposed making channel capacity available for the Remote North East Zone commercial radio service (4SUN) at Mt Tamborine, an increase in the maximum effective radiated power for its service at Kilcoy and for the proposed extension of the 4SUN licence area into the local government area of Caloundra.
In making its determinations, the ABA took into account the objects of the Act and the criteria set out in s.23 of the Act, including the economic and efficient use of the radio frequency spectrum.
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