8 October 2010
Better protection proposed for radio astronomy services in the Mid West ‘Radio Quiet Zone’
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has released a public discussion paper canvassing regulatory measures to provide enhanced protection for the Mid West Radio Quiet Zone (the RQZ) located in remote Western Australia and to further support Australia’s bid for hosting the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
’Providing enhanced measures to protect the RQZ will assist the Commonwealth in providing the best RQZ in the world, thus making it an irresistible site for future radio astronomy instruments including the international $2.5 billion SKA project,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
Radio astronomy uses highly sensitive equipment particularly susceptible to unwanted radiocommunications signals. The RQZ was established in 2005 and aims to maintain the current ‘radio-quietness’ of a site in remote Western Australia (near Boolardy Station, around 200 km east of Meekatharra).
’The discussion paper canvasses additional measures which would provide legislative protection to the site in this remote region of Australia for the first time,’ Mr Chapman said.
’They have the potential to offer greater long-term certainty to the operators of key radiocommunications facilities, but don’t require significant changes to the existing technical parameters of the RQZ.
’Rather, the proposals are primarily designed to upgrade the status of existing regulatory measures from administrative status to subordinate legislation.’
Australia-New Zealand and South Africa have been shortlisted as two possible locations to host the SKA. An international consortium is expected to make the final decision in 2012.
Further information on the SKA is available at www.ska.gov.au.
A copy of the public discussion paper is available.
The closing date for submissions is 5:00 pm, Friday, 19 November 2010.
Submissions received after this date may not be considered in the ACMA’s decision-making process.
Please direct any queries about the issues in the discussion paper or the consultation process to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Donald Robertson, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980, 0418 86 1766 or email@example.com.
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The ACMA is Australia’s regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA’s strategic intent is to make communications and media work in Australia’s public interest. For more information: www.acma.gov.au.