Date : 08 / 03 / 2017
Author : Phil Wait – VK2ASD
The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) met with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in Canberra on Friday February 24.
It was a mix of face-to-face meeting in Canberra and by teleconference for two in Victoria.
The ACMA a team of three headed by its manager of spectrum licencing policy Dominic Byrne, Executive Manager of the Spectrum Management Policy Branch David Brumfield, and a Senior Policy Officer Stewart White. The WIA representatives were Phil VK2ASD, Peter VK3MV, Dale VK1DSH and Fred VK3DAC.
The ACMA talked briefly about the draft new Radiocommunications Act due to be made public in later this year and the changes it may bring to licensing.
The ACMA explained that they were undergoing substantial staff reductions with some delays being experienced.
The WIA suggestion that Foundation Licences could have callsigns with a three letter suffix was being further explored, but no decision had been yet.
The WIA Exams Service was discussed including its financial and delivery performance.
A definition of reportable complaint was discussed.
Reciprocal licence arrangements were discussed and agreed that all claims for overseas licences needs to include proof of operator competency to be licensed in Australia.
The WIA advised the ACMA that it was introducing a new arrangement for consultation with members. The proposed changes to the three amateur licences under a future review of the Licence Condition Determinations would draw on the findings of that consultation, but as yet no date had been set. The WIA had identified options for Foundation Licensees to have a three letter suffix callsign to help them access digital modes, should digital modes for Foundation licensees be approved. The ACMA licensing section indicates that its SPECTRA system should be able handle them, and the WIA agreed that there be a test to prove the concept.
In seeking Amateur Service access to the 60m band (5351.5 – 5366.5 kHz) the WIA offered to work with Defence that currently uses that spectrum.
At the end of the two hour meeting a greater understanding was had by both sides on a number mutual interest issues.