23 October 2003
ABA Invites Applications for New Community Radio Licence for Lismore
The Australian Broadcasting Authority is seeking applications for a new community radio broadcasting licence for the Lismore area of New South Wales.
"Southern Cross University, the licensee of community radio service 2NCR Lismore surrendered its licence on 3 October 2002," said Professor David Flint, ABA Chairman. "Since then, another group has been broadcasting a trial service and the ABA now feels that it can call for applications for a permanent licence to provide a community radio service to the Lismore area."
Applicants should contact the ABA's Licensing Section on 1800 226 667 or (02) 9334 7700 for copies of the Lismore application information booklet. General information is also available on the ABA's website.
Applications for the licence must be received before midnight on Tuesday 25 November 2003. The ABA will not accept any applications lodged after this date. From Tuesday 9 December 2003, copies of all applications received will be placed for public perusal on the ABA's website.
Copies of all applications received will also be made available for public perusal in the Lismore Public Library.
The ABA welcomes written submissions from members of the public in relation to the applications received. Submissions should be lodged with the ABA by 5.00 pm on Tuesday 23 December 2003. Submissions can also be lodged via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copies of any letters of support included with applications and subsequent support letters received by the ABA will not be displayed on the web site or in libraries but can be made available for inspection on request. Anyone who has concerns about public access to their personal details should advise the ABA to treat this information as confidential.
Media contact Donald Robertson, ABA Manager Media and PR on (02) 9334 7980.
Allocation of community broadcasting licences
Only non-profit community broadcasting organisations that represent a community interest will be eligible for the allocation of a community broadcasting licence.
Community licences can be allocated only if the ABA makes new community broadcasting services available in an area following its planning process and the release of a licence area plan. The licence area plan for Lismore was released in December 2000. 2NCR Lismore, which had been broadcasting since 6 August 1976, surrendered its licence in October 2002. The new service will use the channel capacity 2NCR had been using.
The ABA has advertised for applications in a newspaper in the licence area. Applications must be lodged with the ABA by the closing date advertised. In light of the recent judgment of the Federal Court of Australia handed down on 31 January 2003, the ABA will not be granting any extensions of time within which to apply for a community radio licence. Applications must be made on the approved form, Form ABA 32: Application for the Allocation of a Community Broadcasting Licence (Broadcasting Services Bands).
Applications received will be made available for public comment. Written comments on applications must be lodged with the ABA within 14 days of the date the ABA provides them to the public library.
The ABA will decide if a licence is to be allocated and in the case of competing applicants, to which applicant.
The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the Act) provides that the allocation of broadcasting services bands community broadcasting licences is merit based: that is, the ABA will allocate these licences on the basis of the merits of applicants and their proposed services and, where necessary, on the comparative merits of competing applications.
The ABA is not obliged to allocate a community broadcasting licence to an applicant even though the ABA has advertised for and received applications.
In assessing applications the ABA will have regard to matters set out in the Act. These matters include: