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Renew or transfer a community broadcasting licence

We will remind you to renew your community broadcasting licence 12 months before it expires. In some situations, you can transfer the licence to a different organisation or body.

Renewing your community radio broadcasting licence

The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 requires that applications to renew a community radio broadcasting licence must be made between 26 weeks and a year before the licence is due to expire.

Download the B66 form for community radio broadcasting licence renewals

How we assess your application

For long-term community broadcasting licences, we assess:

  • the extent to which the service meets the community’s current and future needs 
  • the nature and diversity of interests in the community
  • the extent to which the service provides material that is significant to the local community
  • other broadcasting services in the same licence area, including national services
  • whether the applicant is able to provide the proposed service.

We also consider whether this licence would lead to a situation we don’t want such as:

  • one person in control of more than one community broadcasting service in the same licence area
  • the Commonwealth, a state or territory or a political party in control of a community broadcasting licence.

In assessing your application, we may identify areas for improvement. If we approve the application, we’ll let you know about these by assigning you actions to complete.

How to apply

email: communitybroadcasting@acma.gov.au.

post:
Community Broadcasting and Safeguards Section
The ACMA
PO Box Q500
Queen Victoria Building NSW 2230

Please note: We prefer applications to be submitted by email. If you submit by post, please email us at communitybroadcasting@acma.gov.au to advise us that your renewal application has been posted.

More information

If you have any questions about your renewal, please email us at communitybroadcasting@acma.gov.au.

Change your community interest

A licence holder must represent the community interest.

When you renew a community radio licence, we look at how you are meeting the interests of that community. You may apply to change the community interest you represent at licence renewal.

If you wish to change your community interest, indicate this in Section 2 of form B66 – Application for renewal of a community radio broadcasting licence.  You need to give us details of:

  • how the service will meet the new needs of the community in the licence area
  • any research or evidence that shows how community interests have changed, or will change, over time
  • how you will represent the community interest that has changed
  • letters or evidence that show your members and the community support the change.

You must lodge requests for change of community interest at least 26 weeks before the expiry date of the licence to allow time for community consultation.

Except in special circumstances, we will not consider requests for change of community interest made within 26 weeks of the expiry date of the licence. 

Decision making

When deciding whether to approve a request for a change of community interest, we will consider:

  • the extent to which the proposed service would meet the existing and perceived future needs of the community within the licence area
  • the nature and diversity of the interests of that community
  • the nature and diversity of other broadcasting services (including national broadcasting services) available within the licence area
  • the capacity of the applicant to provide the proposed service.

Transfer your licence

Some of the reasons you may want or need to transfer a licence include:

  • You want to merge with another company or council and will lose your original legal status.
  • Your legal entity changes, for example, from a cooperative to an incorporated association.
  • You do not have the money to continue broadcasting and want to hand over the licence to someone else.
  • You may have to stop broadcasting, for example, because you expect to be deregistered.

We will only approve it if the company you want us to transfer the licence to:

  • meets the eligibility requirements for a licence
  • represents a community interest.

Apply to transfer your licence

Complete the relevant form:

In assessing the application, we may identify areas for improvement. If we approve the application, we’ll let the new licence holder know about these by assigning them actions to complete.

After the transfer is complete

If we approve the transfer, the new licence holder must tell us once the transfer takes place. You have 90 days to transfer the licence.

Complete the Notification of transfer of a community broadcasting licence.

The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 gives us the authority to renew and transfer licences.

Transfer applications that are not approved

If we do not approve a transfer application, you may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the decision.

The ACMA may issue a media release announcing our decision.

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