Amateurs need facts

Tilting at Windmills

The WIA recently ran a You Tube presentation on the ACMA’s proposed changes to amateur licencing.

They raised a number of concerns with the ACMA’s proposals for a class licence, principally:

  • callsign management, licence portability for amateurs travelling overseas…..this was accompanied by claims that any licence issued by AMC would be “not worth the paper it is written on”; and
  • increased Electromagnetic Compliance (EMC) requirements – amateurs would be forced to undertake complicated calculations to ensure our stations comply with the Australian EMC standard.

These concerns are unfounded. We covered them in our FAQ at

……but let’s look at them again.


Qualification and callsign documents issued by AMC under the new system will be annotated with words to the effect that the document is issued under the authority of ACMA.  The other alternative is that ACMA may issue a qualification/licence document for amateurs travelling overseas.

So, a non-issue.

EMC compliance

ACMA regulates levels of human exposure to radio waves through their Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Apparatus Licence) Determination 2015, which calls up the Australian standard (Radiation Protection Standard for Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields—3 kHz to 300 GHz ).  The ACMA document details their requirements for compliance with the Australian standard.

ACMA have referenced the Australian standard in the proposed amateur class licence. 

They also plan to apply this condition to all other class licences.

The ACMA EMC compliance document is explained in detail at:

There are two Compliance Levels for the operation of transmitters under the ACMA requirements: level 1 and 2.  Level 1 effectively covers all Foundation and Standard stations and probably 95% of Advanced stations.

Level 2 effectively only applies to those Advanced stations running high gain antennas mounted lower than 10m – Earth-Moon-Earth stations, in the main.

Level 1 does not require any calculations; provided you meet the requirements, you can operate.  Level 2 does require calculations to prove compliance.

The WIA’s contention is that all amateurs will effectively be required to complete the complex calculations required under level 2 to prove compliance.

This is incorrect. 

As we said in the FAQ, why would ACMA, who intend to reduce regulatory burden on amateurs, suddenly require amateurs to produce complex calculations showing compliance with the standard? 

The answer is; they won’t.  The current requirements will continue to apply.


The changes proposed by ACMA to the administration of AR are the most significant for the last 50 years. 

What amateurs need are facts, not scaremongering.

It is our view that ACMA intend to implement Option C (the class licence).  As we pointed out in our interim position paper, (at ) the most effective response is to negotiate with ACMA on a mutually acceptable outcome.