26 March 2003
ABA decides not to allocate a new community radio licence in Sydney
The Australian Broadcasting Authority has decided not to allocate a new community radio broadcasting licence in Sydney at this time. The service would have operated on the AM band (1386kHz) and had been expected to transmit from Homebush.
The ABA received eight applications for the Sydney licence. The applicants were 2AMB - Australian Muslim Broadcasting Radio Inc, Australian-Arabic Unity Inc, Hellenic Australian Radio Inc, Islamic Council of New South Wales Inc, Outfm Inc, Radio Tarana Australian Pty Ltd, Sydney Christian Broadcasters Ltd and Sydney Harbour Radio Inc.
"After giving careful consideration to the criteria laid down in the legislation and the information provided by the applicants, the ABA has decided in this case not to allocate the licence," said Professor David Flint, ABA Chairman.
The criteria the ABA had regard to included the existing and perceived future needs of the community, the nature and diversity of interests of that community and the capacity of the applicants to provide the proposed service. In relation to the matter of financial capacity, the ABA noted how much more expensive and difficult setting up AM services is compared to FM services.
The ABA also decided not to make the frequency available for other broadcasting purposes, such as temporary community broadcasting licences, at this time, in light of concerns about the proximity of new residential developments to AM transmission towers in the Homebush area. The ABA will review the situation in 12 months.
Media contact Donald Robertson, ABA Manager Media and PR on 0418 86 1766 or (02) 9334 7980.
Sydney licence area
The Sydney licence area is currently served by seven national radio services, 2RN, 2PB, 2BL, 2ABCFM, 2JJJ, 2EA and 2SBSFM; eleven commercial radio services, 2GB, 2UE, 2KY, 2CH, 2SM, 2DAY, 2MMM, 2WFM, 2SYD, 2UUS (Western Sydney) and 2MAC (Campbelltown), eight licensed Sydney-wide community radio services, 2RPH, 2OOO, 2MBS, 2CBA, 2SER, 2MFM and Gadigal (FBi service yet to commence), fifteen local area coverage community radio services, 2BCR, 2RSR, 2RDJ, 2NBC, 2NSB, 2GLF, 2MWM, 2CCR, 2RRR, 2SSR, 2RES, 2VTR, 2HHH, 2MCR and 2WOW, one high power open narrowcasting service and three non broadcasting services band services. The Sydney area is also served by two national television services, ABC and SBS; three commercial television services ATN, TCN and TEN and subscription television services, Foxtel and Optus.
In May 2001, the ABA allocated three FM community radio licences - to 2MFM, Gadigal and FBi. In that same month, the ABA also released a draft variation to the Sydney licence area plan with a view to making available an additional wide coverage community radio licence in Sydney using the MF-AM band. The variation to the Sydney licence area plan was determined in March 2002 and made available the 1386kHz frequency for community broadcasting purposes.
Community licence allocation
Part 6 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the Act) provides for the allocation of community broadcasting licences.
The ABA must have regard to:
Under section 85 of the Act, the ABA is not required to allocate a community broadcasting licence to any applicant.