More unlicensed broadcasting stations shut down
The recent need to shut down a number of unlicensed radio stations has prompted the ACMA to remind the community that licences are mandatory for all broadcasting stations operating on the AM or FM broadcast bands.
Following an incident in October 2011 in which ACMA inspectors shut down a pirate AM broadcasting station operating from Chadstone in Melbourne's south-east, a further two unlicensed stations have recently been shut down on the Gold Coast and in Bendigo.
In the latter case, investigations revealed a man had been operating an unlicensed FM broadcasting station for several months, using a 40-watt transmitter from a 20-metre tower located in his backyard. A warning notice was also issued and the broadcasting equipment was surrendered to the ACMA.
Unlicensed stations can cause harmful interference to other licensed services. Operating or possessing unlicensed transmitters are offences under sections 46 and 47 the Radiocommunications Act 1992. Penalties for these offences can result in fines of over $300,000 (1,500 penalty units) or up to two years imprisonment.
Last updated: 30 September 2013