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Action on content complaints and investigations: July to September 2020

Assessed matters

We assessed 40 matters

Commence investigation

We commenced 9 investigations

Finalised investigation

We finalised 5 investigations

Breach findings

There were 3 investigations with breach findings


Decisions to investigate

We consider every complaint we receive and assess whether to investigate.

Number of matters / investigations

Figure 1

Investigations commenced or declined by sector

Figure 2

Investigations finalised

Figure 3

Investigations finalised by sector

Figure 4

Average time taken to finalise closed investigations as at 30 September 2020

Figure 5


Provisions investigated

The ACMA receives and investigates complaints about:

  • licence conditions
  • program standards
  • codes of practice.

Broadcasting codes of practice investigations usually assess a broadcast against more than one provision of the relevant code.

The table below shows finalised investigations and the relevant provisions. Breaches found during this period are shown in bold.

Investigation number

Date of broadcast / broadcaster


Provisions investigated

Provisions of the national broadcaster (ABC and SBS) codes


4/11/2019: ABC

Allegation that Q&A episode included coarse language, lacked diversity of perspectives, and promoted male stereotypes and violence toward men.

  • 4.1 and 4.5: Impartiality
  • 7.1 and 7.2: Harm and offence
  • 7.6: Exacerbate serious threats to individual or public safety
  • 7.7: Unjustified use of stereotypes

Provisions of the Commercial Radio Code of Practice March 2017 (Revised 2018)


20/09/2019: Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation Pty Ltd

Allegation that comments made on The Kyle and Jackie O Show about the Virgin Mary were offensive, amounted to ‘hate speech’ and ridiculed Christians on the basis of religion.

  • 2.1.4: Incite hatred/severe contempt/severe ridicule on basis of religion
  • 2.2: Decency

Provisions of Schedule 2 to the BSA


N/A: Light Melbourne Inc

Allegation that a community broadcaster may be operating for profit and not providing the service for community purposes.

  • 9(2)(d): Will provide the service or services for community purposes
  • 9(2)(e): Will not operate the service for profit


30/03/19, 6/07/19 & 13/07/19: Gold Coast Community Radio Association

Allegation that a community broadcaster was:

  • broadcasting advertisements
  • operating the service as part of a profit-making enterprise
  • exceeding the sponsorship limit.


  • 9(1)(b): Will not broadcast advertisements
  • 9(2)(e): Will not operate the service for profit
  • 9(3)(b): Will not exceed 5 minutes per hour of sponsorship announcements


N/A: Brisbane Interactive Radio Group Inc

Allegation that a community broadcaster was not representing the community interest and was not encouraging community participation in the operations of the service.

  • 9(2)(b): Will continue to represent the community interest
  • 9(2)(c)(i): Encouraging participation in operations
  • 9(2)(c)(ii): Encouraging participation in selection and provision of programs
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