FM switch proposed for Northern Tasmania key regions


Tasmania is being asked for its input into a plan to upgrade three of the state’s commercial AM radio stations.

Under the plan, radio stations 7BU in Burnie and 7AD in Devonport would switch from AM to FM, while 7SD in Scottsdale would be simulcast on both transmissions.

Tasmanian Broadcasters Executive General Manager Tim Holder said “The industry’s been working with the ACMA over the past few years.” 

At long last, and we’re just thrilled to pieces, the ACMA has agreed and in Tasmania they are very receptive to a move by us to convert our three remaining sites to FM.”

As part of the industry-led conversion program, the ACMA is assessing the proposal for the station to simulcast on both FM and AM.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said this is because the new FM signal won’t cover all the areas served by the AM transmitter, including Flinders Island.   

“FM radio provides improved audio quality for listeners in regional areas and can be more cost-effective to operate than AM radio,” she said.

“ACMA will facilitate a conversion if we are satisfied that audiences in regional areas do not lose important radio services under the proposal,” ACMA chairwoman Nerida O’Loughlin told The Advertiser.

Members of the public are invited to make submissions on the proposals to the ACMA by July 5.

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