The ACMA's new enforcement powers
The media reform legislation gives the ACMA a range of new enforcement powers to effectively regulate the broadcasting industry.
Additional powers include:
- the introduction of civil penalties for a range of breaches where only criminal sanctions are currently available, giving the ACMA greater flexibility to address non-compliance
- enabling the ACMA to obtain injunctions where commercial broadcasting services are being provided without an appropriate licence
- allowing the ACMA to accept enforceable undertakings from industry in its role in regulating the broadcasting, datacasting and internet content industries
- issuing infringement notices for minor breaches of the Broadcasting Services Act related to reporting requirements.
Guidelines to new enforcement powers
Effective 26 August 2011, the ACMA has additional enforcement powers applicable to breaches of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA). The ACMA has provided guidelines relating to the new enforcement powers.
- Guidelines relating to the ACMA's enforcement powers under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Word 136 kb or PDF 132 kb)
Further information is available on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments website.
Complying with current law
A proclamation date (the date the laws come into effect) for the amending legislation has not yet been announced. In the meantime, the ACMA will continue to monitor compliance with the current rules and take any necessary action to maintain their integrity.
The ACMA is aware of a number of reports which claim that some organisations are 'positioning' themselves in anticipation of the commencement of the amending legislation. The ACMA will continue to monitor such reports and gather information about any matter which might suggest a potential breach of the current rules. Where necessary, the ACMA may move to formally investigate potential breaches under the BSA.
Licensees are obligated under the BSA to notify the ACMA in writing of changes in control and directorships of commercial television and radio licences.