Material of local significance | ACMA

Material of local significance

Material of local significance can relate to a local area, or to the licensee’s licence area. Licence area material is material relevant to a licensee area, but not sufficiently relevant to any local area. In addition to this definition, Schedule 3 of the relevant licence condition provides extensive guidance on identifying material of local significance.

Material that may be considered of local significance could include:

  • material dealing with people, organisations, events or issues that are of particular interest to people in the area, in a way that focuses on the interests of people in the area

  • material about an individual in whom people in the area are particularly interested because of an association with the area, such as the individual having grown up, or lived, in the area

  • material dealing with effects on the area of an event that occurs elsewhere

  • material about a sporting event that involves a team from the area or that involves a team from a nearby area, whose principal support base includes the area, or a significant part of the area

  • material about market conditions that closely affect a major business activity in the area, such as prices of a commodity in an area where that commodity is produced on a significant scale.

The points system provides an incentive for licensees to broadcast local news above other material, while also recognising that other types of material of local significance may be of interest to local audiences.

The licence condition recognises both news bulletins and news updates. It notes that the traditional format of a ‘news update’ is a program of not more than two minutes that does not include advertisements.

Both the bulletin and update format are acceptable, provided that they meet the licence condition’s requirements. This flexibility allows licensees to broadcast different and complementary services within the local areas served.

Last updated: 19 August 2017