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Temporary licences for community broadcasters

We may give you a temporary community broadcasting licence (TCBL) in some circumstances.

Purpose of the temporary licence

The TCBL lets licence holders:

  • broadcast on the radiofrequency spectrum, before we start the process for a long-term licence
  • develop your skills to program and run a radio broadcast
  • build community support for a long-term service.

How to apply

  1. Read the Temporary community broadcasting licence guidelines
  2. Complete form B42 – application for a temporary licence
  3. Complete form B12 – application for an apparatus licence
  4. Pay the apparatus licence fee if we give you a TCBL

The temporary licence lasts up to 12 months. You cannot renew it.

We may allocate more than one TCBL for a frequency in a licence area. If we do, we will give licence holders the rules to share the broadcasting time. We encourage groups to agree on how they will share time and to tell us that you have an agreement. This ensures that the rules we set up reflect what you have agreed.

The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Part 6A) lets us allocate temporary community broadcasting licences.

Applications for temporary community broadcasting licences

The ACMA has powers under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. These were updated with the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Community Radio) Act 2022.  

As a result, there's changes to how we allocate your temporary community broadcasting licences (TCBLs). This includes:

  • clarifying what we weigh up when allocating your TCBL
  • the ability to limit the number of TCBLs that can share a frequency.

We've updated our TCBL guidelines to reflect the changes. If you have questions about how the new legislation impacts the way we look at TCBL applications, please email

Rules and codes for temporary licence holders

If you hold a temporary licence, you must follow the same rules as long-term community radio licence holders. These are the:

Lists of temporary and long-term community licence holders are at About community broadcasting services.

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