RASA-ACMA teleconference

The RASA President conducted a teleconference with ACMA managers and staff on the second of June 2021 to discuss RASA’s position on the ACMA’s proposed changes to amateur radio licencing.

The following issues were discussed.

Interference protection

RASA’s view is that ACMA must maintain their current position as an impartial arbiter for interference issues.

ACMA advised that the level of interference protection provided under any proposed class licence would effectively be the same as the current apparatus licence arrangements.

Definition of terms in the Class Licence

The term Maximum power spectral density needs to be defined in the proposed class licence.

ACMA agreed that this would be considered.

Sector liaison

RASA’s view is that, if the licencing changes are implemented, there needs to be a sector representative committee created and that it needs to meet with ACMA on a scheduled basis.

ACMA advised that they are considering alternatives.

Callsign database

RASA made the point that some form of online amateur callsign database is required if a class licence is implemented.

ACMA are aware of this view.  They are looking at options, which may involve the current Register of Radiocommunications Licences or some other form of online arrangement. This will need to be consistent with privacy requirements for the handling of personal information.

1 kW for advanced licencees

RASA’s view is that there are no EMC or EMR reasons to prevent an increase of output power for advanced licencees to 1 kW PEP, and that this could be done concurrent with licencing changes.

There is strong support for this across the amateur sector.

ACMA noted that their FYSO commitment is to investigate the feasibility of higher power amateur operation and consult with the amateur community on options in Q2 2022.

50-52 MHz for Standard class amateurs

Similarly, RASA made the point that there is strong sector support to resolve the anomaly preventing Standard class amateurs from accessing the entire 50-54 MHz band.

ACMA are aware of the sector view and will consider the issue. However, they noted that noted it did not form part of the scope of the review consultation. 

Beacons and repeaters

RASA’s view is that assignment of repeater and beacon frequencies is not working well and needs to be streamlined by translating the repeater bandplans into Radiocommunication Assignment and Licencing Instructions (RALI) – as used by commercial land mobile services.

ACMA agreed in principle.  They are planning to develop draft Frequency Assignment Procedures (simplified versions of RALIs) for comment in the 3rd quarter this year.

Next steps

ACMA advised that they will update the amateur community, via in an ebulletin in the next couple of weeks, on progress of their consideration of the review submissions. The ACMA will engage further with the amateur community on the outcomes of the review and future licencing changes in the next few months.

(minutes agreed by RASA and ACMA)