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Proposed amateur class licensing arrangements and higher power operation - consultation 31/2022

We are consulting on operational arrangements to support the proposed amateur class licence. We are also consulting on our proposal for a staged implementation of higher power authorisation.

Submissions now public
Consultation number
IFC 31/2022
Days remaining 0 of 62 days
  • 1

    Consulation opened

    29 Sep 2022
  • 2

    Consultation closed

    29 Nov 2022
  • 3

    Outcome No. 1 and submissions published

    01 May 2023
  • 4

    Outcome No. 2 and response to submissions published

    29 Aug 2023
  • 5

    Outcome No. 3 published

    12 Dec 2023

Key documents

Outcome No. 3 (12 December 2023)

On 7 December 2023, we made the Radiocommunications (Amateur Stations) Class Licence 2023.

The amateur class licence will commence on 19 February 2024, at the same time as the commencement of the proposed new amateur radio qualification framework and new assessor accreditations.

From this date, all current and future amateur operators will be able to operate under the class licence as long as they meet the licence conditions. This applies even if they hold a non-assigned amateur licence.

Under the amateur class licence, amateur operators will not hold individual licences and will not need to pay licence application and renewal fees. 

For most amateur operators, no action is needed in the transition to the new arrangements. 

View more information about the transitional arrangements.

We expect to communicate our decision on further high-power authorisation and consult on any associated regulatory proposals in late 2024, with more specific timing to be outlined in the Five-year spectrum outlook 2024–29, which we plan to release for public consultation around March 2024.

Outcome No. 2 (29 August 2023)

Response to submissions
Following our consideration of stakeholder feedback, we have now released our response to submissions, available in the ‘Key documents’ box. 

It sets out how the proposed class licence and supporting arrangements will operate and provides advice on our next steps to implement the class-licensing arrangements. 

We plan to make the class licence in December 2023 and begin the class-licensing arrangements in February 2024, which is when the proposed new amateur radio qualification framework and assessor accreditation scheme starts – view the consultation

Notice to revoke Overseas Class Licence
We have published a notice under subsection 136(2) of the Radiocommunications Act 1992, to inform interested parties that we intend to revoke the Radiocommunications (Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia) Class Licence 2015 when the proposed amateur class licence commences. 

Appropriately qualified overseas amateurs visiting Australia will be authorised to operate amateur stations under the proposed new amateur class licence.

The written notice of revocation of the Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia Class Licence has been published in the Government Notices Gazette (and is also available above in the ‘Key documents’ box). Feedback is invited no later than 29 September 2023.


Outcome No. 1 (1 May 2023)

We received 58 submissions to the consultation. You can access the submissions that were not sent on a confidential basis below.

As outlined in our 29 March 2023 amateur radio update, we are considering how to best deliver arrangements under the class licence. This means the class licence will not commence on 1 July 2023 as previously indicated.

We will provide an update on the commencement date for the class licence, as well as next steps for qualification and call sign services, later in 2023.

Previous consultation: The issue

Following extensive public consultation on our Review of non-assigned amateur and outpost regulatory arrangements and our response to submissions, we are now consulting on operational arrangements to support the proposed amateur class licence, as well as on our proposal for a staged implementation of higher power authorisation.

Implementing the proposed class licence

We present an updated class licence – the draft Radiocommunications (Amateur Stations) Class Licence 2022 – that incorporates changes suggested by representative bodies, amateur radio clubs and individual amateurs during the initial consultation on our review of non-assigned amateur licensing arrangements.

Key updates to the proposed class licence have been made to the conditions about electromagnetic energy (EME) requirements, reciprocal arrangements for overseas amateurs visiting Australia and access to the 50–52 MHz frequency band for Standard amateurs.

Subject to the outcomes of this consultation and the implementation of operational arrangements to support the proposed class licence, we intend to implement the proposed class licensing arrangements from 1 July 2023. We will keep amateur licensees updated on our progress before the class licence is made and comes into legal effect. We will provide advice on any actions required by amateur licensees, including requests for surrender of licences and refunds, where appropriate.

Operational policies and processes

The consultation paper also discusses our view on how matters related to operational policy and processes will support the class licence. These include call sign administration, public register options, amateur operating procedures, international reciprocity for Advanced amateurs travelling overseas and arrangements for amateur clubs.

Higher power operation 

In addition to the matters being considered under the review, we are also consulting on the ACMA’s position to authorise higher power on a case-by-case basis. This takes into consideration feedback from amateur licensees on current higher power uses and arrangements, as well as other suggested uses. The consultation paper includes the proposal for Advanced amateurs to seek authorisation to use higher power for scientific and experimentation use cases in the short term, and for the ACMA to consider higher power operations for other purposes in the medium and longer term.

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