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Action on content complaints and investigations: July to September 2022

Accessed broadcast matters

We completed 40 assessments

Commenced investigations

Our assessments led to 7 investigations

Finalised invetigations

We finalised 7 investigations

Breach finding

There were 7 investigations with breach findings




The co-regulatory framework is set out in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. It gives broadcasters the chance to respond to – and resolve – all complaints about alleged breaches of broadcasting codes before we get involved. Within the framework, we escalate complaints not resolved by broadcasters. We do an assessment to decide if we investigate further.

We assess all complaints about potential breaches of broadcasting codes where the person making the complaint:

  • has been to the broadcaster and isn’t satisfied with the response
  • has not received a response.

We also look at complaints that allege a breach of:

  • licence conditions
  • standards
  • the online content service provider rules.


Assessment decisions

Chart 1


Assessment decisions by sector

Chart 2


Investigations finalised

Chart 3


Investigations finalised by sector

Chart 4


Average time taken to finalise closed investigations, as at 30 September 2022

Chart 5

Finalised investigations

The table below shows finalised broadcasting investigations and the relevant provisions. Breaches found during this period are shown in bold. We’ve provided links to investigation reports in the first column.

Investigation number

Date of broadcast / broadcaster


Provisions investigated

Provisions of the ABC Code of Practice (and associated standards) 2019



Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Allegation that multiple broadcasts on ABC Radio and on ABC News 24 lacked accuracy and impartiality in discussing logging practices.

  • 2. Accuracy
  • 4. Impartiality



Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Allegation of a breach of privacy in a Newshour report about dating app scams.

  • 6.1: Privacy

Provisions of the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice 2008



Ethnic Community Broadcasting Association of Victoria Ltd

Allegations that the licensee was broadcasting programs containing propaganda and misinformation about the current conflict in Ukraine.

  • Code 3.3: Will not broadcast material likely to stereotype, incite, vilify or perpetuate hatred
  • Code 3.6 (b): Present news and current affairs accurately
  • Code 3.6 (e): Represent viewpoints fairly

Provisions of Schedule 2 of the BSA



Tamworth Broadcasting Society Inc

Allegation that the licensee was failing to comply with licence conditions in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

  • 9(2)(b): Continue to represent community interest
  • 9(2)(c)(i): Encourage participation in operations
  • 9(2)(c)(ii): Encourage participation in program selection and provision



TCN Nine Pty Ltd

Allegation that the broadcast of a telephone conversation on A Current Affair contravened Queensland privacy legislation.

  • Subclause 7(h): Not use a broadcasting service in the commission of an offence



Millicent Community Access Radio Inc


Allegations that:

  • the service lacked governance
  • did not have a functioning board
  • the management of the financial and operational affairs of the service were concentrated in one individual
  • there was a lack of transparency in the financial management of the station
  • the number of volunteers involved in the service was dwindling.
  • 9(2)(c)(i): Encourage participation in operations

Radiocommunications Licence Conditions Determination 2015 (Narrowcasting)




Farren Hotham (One Central West FM)

Allegation that a narrowcaster was providing programming of general appeal.

  • 4.8(a) Low power open narrowcasting service


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