ACMA approves transfer of Radio Adelaide licence

The community radio broadcasting licence held by the University of Adelaide will be transferred to Educational Broadcasters Adelaide Inc (EBA), following approval by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The University represents the educational community interest in the Adelaide RA1 licence area and EBA will represent the same community interest.

The University now has 90 days to transfer the licence to EBA.

The University and EBA provided copies of a membership policy and a community participation policy to the ACMA.

These policies indicate that, at a minimum, the five universities in the licence area will have the opportunity to participate in the operations and programming of the service, to the same extent currently enjoyed by the University of Adelaide.

Accordingly, the ACMA was satisfied that the educational community in the licence area will be able to continue to participate in the operations and programming of Radio Adelaide.

In addition, the University and EBA provided written assurance to the ACMA that EBA will develop and provide a community consultation strategy and a structured engagement program by 1 March 2017, for implementation from that date.

Community broadcasting services are broadcasting services provided for community purposes and are not operated for profit or as part of a profit-making enterprise. They differ from other broadcasting services in that they have a community focus and are required to encourage members of the community they represent to participate in the operations of the service and in the selection and provision of programs.

Under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA), community broadcasting licensees are required to comply with the licence condition to this effect at Part 5 of Schedule 2 to the BSA.

The BSA provides for licensees to apply for the transfer of a community broadcasting licence. To assist licensees understand the intent of the licence transfer mechanism, the ACMA has developed Community Broadcasting Licence Transfer Guidelines.

The ACMA may only approve the transfer of a licence if:

  • the proposed transferee is a company eligible to be allocated such a licence in the first place, i.e.:

o it is the type of corporate entity that may apply to be allocated a licence
o it represents a community interest

In considering a transfer application, the ACMA generally assesses a proposed transferee against relevant section 84(2) criteria. This is to ensure the statutory scheme for community broadcasting services is not compromised.

The ACMA also reviews any other relevant matters, either generally or in that particular case. Even if the ACMA is satisfied that all the legal requirements are met, it has an overall discretion to refuse to approve the transfer of a licence.

Tags: |