Bendigo's Fresh 98.5 licence revoked for not doing licence renewal paperwork | radioinfo

Bendigo's Fresh 98.5 licence revoked for not doing licence renewal paperwork

Friday 27 October, 2006

In a shock announcement for a small Bendigo community radio station, ACMA has cancelled its licence after 25 years of broadcasting because it did not meet its obligations to respond to the licence renewal process.

3CCC, known as Fresh 89.5 FM, will end its transmissions on 12 November after the licensee, Goldfields Community Radio Cooperative Ltd, failed to lodge its renewal application with Australian Communications Media Authority by the required date.

ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman regrets the decision, but says ACMA has no power to renew a community broadcasting licence where the application is lodged “a considerable time after the required date.”

“In the case of 3CCC, ACMA received its application five months after the due date, despite almost 12 months of frequent reminders.”

In the new licence renewal process, applications to renew community broadcasting licences must be made, at the earliest, 12 months prior to the licence expiry, and at the latest, 26 weeks prior to the licence expiry.

In a warning to community licencees, Chapman says: “In order to avoid such a circumstance, all community radio licensees should clearly review the legislation applicable to them and, in particular, monitor the strict renewal date regime.”

Following numerous reminders and explanations of the consequences of non-lodgment, 3CCC finally lodged its renewal application, too late, on 13 October 2006.

ACMA has not yet decided on the long-term future use of the 89.5 FM frequency. It may be made available for a temporary community broadcasting service while its future use is further considered. 3CCC can apply for a temporary community broadcasting licence to use the frequency in the meantime.

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