Mick Jagger sang:

You can’t always get what you want

You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometimes you just might find

You get what you need.



Effective lobbying of Government requires dispassionate professionalism.

Sometimes, Governments do things we don’t like.

In framing a response to an unpopular Government decision, an effective representative organisation will make a cogent argument, introducing some supporting information to help their case as required.

Emotive public statements expressing “disappointment” are counterproductive.

Similarly, quoting ITU regulations at the Government regulator charged with their implementation is also rather ill-advised….to put it mildly.


As we discussed in a previous article here, the ACMA have released their Five-Year Spectrum Outlook (FYSO).

In light of recent developments, let’s look at the amateur issues again….


Extension of the 80m DX window

There are many, many commercial assignments from 3700-4000 kHz.  They aren’t going anywhere…and, why should they?  They are operating quite legally.

Even if the regulator chose to support a request for this extension, how could they implement it?  Who would oversee, fund and undertake the massive logistical task of changing channels and retuning antennas?

This is a closed issue.

Primary status 50-52 MHz

Although Broadcasting doesn’t have any specific plans for the band (as far as we know), they and ACMA have decided that Primary status will be retained.

All the Channel 0 transmitters have shut down.  Is there any real-world improvement to be gained through Primary amateur status?  No, there isn’t.

So, why fight a battle that you can’t win, for no real gain?

70 MHz

As we discussed previously and ACMA confirmed in the FYSO, there are no 70MHz amateur allocations in Region 3, and the band has never been used by amateurs in Australia.

An Amateur allocation at 70MHz is a Region 1 (Europe) issue.  It has no bearing on Australia, where the band is assigned to another service entirely.

The background and policy settings in Australia are different to those in Europe.

It is simply not justifiable to argue for band access based on the they-have-it-so-we-want-it principle….

5 MHz

RASA have put a detailed proposal to ACMA on amateur access to 5 MHz.  It provides a band of approximately 13 kHz, and involves sharing with three commercial assignments, all of which are in sparsely populated parts of Australia.

The top 2 kHz or so of the ITU segment encroaches on a very large Queensland Government land mobile assignment, so the full 15 kHz will not be available.

We spoke to ACMA re 5MHz on Friday 13th July.  They are currently collating responses to the FYSO.

If you have a type approved land mobile radio and want to help your local WICEN group, you can get on 5 MHz now – there are two assignments available, one of which is in the new proposed band.  For more information, see our link here.


RASA does not believe that ACMA are being obstructive.  The FYSO is well written and professional.  They have reduced staff numbers, and, whether we like it or not, amateur radio is a low priority, given the other services they manage.

Of course, we expect them to action their FYSO commitments, but it will take time.

Publicly berating them is unprofessional and ineffectual.  It does nothing to further our cause or progress benefits that are realistic and achievable.


Glenn VK4DU

President RASA



You Can’t Always get what you want – The Rolling Stones. 

Lyrics: Richards/Jagger

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