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Consultation on the exposure draft of Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Bill

This page outlines the outcomes of the consultation on the exposure draft of the Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Bill.

Why we want your input

We want your input on the proposed amendments to the Bill to make sure the management of spectrum remains efficient and flexible.

How you can voice your opinion

You can submit your view by clicking the Have Your Say button below or via email.

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

Submissions received through the consultation process will be used to further refine the proposed amendments in the Bill.

The Issue

Spectrum is essential to today's digitally-networked economy and is a major contributor to Australia's economic and social wellbeing. Management of spectrum is legislated under the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act).

The technological landscape has changed significantly since the Act was first introduced. An update to the legislation is designed to provide for spectrum management to remain fit-for-purpose and flexible enough to adapt to changing needs.

In October 2019, the Government committed to progressing a set of targeted amendments which will update and streamline the Act. On the 24 June 2020 consultation opened on a draft bill package which included targeted amendments focussed on removing existing unnecessary prescription and legislative barriers. Consultation formally closed on 17 July 2020. Overall the package was received well, with stakeholders reiterating that the 1992 framework was not adequately meeting modern spectrum users' needs. An overview of outcomes of public consultation, summarising the key themes in submissions, and the action taken in response, can be found below.

The amendments have achieved the desired outcomes of the October 2019 announcement and successfully streamlined and modernised the legislation. Key changes include:

  • Clarifying the object of the Act, and the roles of the Minister and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
  • Streamlining the spectrum allocation and re-allocation processes
  • Improving flexibility and reducing regulatory barriers between licence types
  • Better reflecting modern spectrum needs and supply chains, and
  • Introducing a modernised compliance and enforcement regime.

The exposure draft of the Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Bill 2020 is accessible below. In addition, you can also access the consultation paper below which provides an overview of the reforms and explains the policy rationale.

Outcomes

Stakeholder views were considered in the final drafting of the Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Bill 2020 (the Bill). Key issues raised during the consultation process have been summarised in the consultation outcomes paper.

On 27 August 2020, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, introduced the Bill into Parliament along with the Radiocommunications (Receiver Licence Tax) Amendment Bill 2020 and the Radiocommunications (Transmitter Licence Tax) Amendment Bill 2020. All three Bills passed the Parliament on 8 December 2020 and received the Royal Assent on 17 December 2020.

The amendments commenced six months following the date of Royal Assent, on 17 June 2021.

 

Relevant Documentation

2020 radiocommunications reform—consultation outcomes paper

Published 23 Septembner 2020

Download 2020 radiocommunications reform—consultation outcomes paper PDF (530.13 KB)
Download 2020 radiocommunications reform—consultation outcomes paper DOC (165.13 KB)

This paper sets out the main views and recommendations raised in submissions to the public consultation and outlines the changes progressed by the Government in response. It is designed to assist stakeholders in understanding the outcomes of the consultation process and the next steps in this important reform project.

2020 Radiocommunications Reform—consultation paper

Published 24 June 2020

Download 2020 Radiocommunications Reform—consultation paper PDF (343.31 KB)
Download 2020 Radiocommunications Reform—consultation paper DOC (160.52 KB)

Spectrum is an essential resource in a digital society and it must be efficiently managed in order to support the social and economic benefits that come from our rapidly-changing technological landscape. All industries rely on spectrum, either directly or indirectly. In 2015, the economic value to Australia of spectrum was estimated at $177 billion over 15 years. However, this economic value is changing and will continue to change as a result of new technologies, new demands and emerging uses of spectrum. This document may not meet WCAG 2.0 requirements. For an accessible version, please email spectrumreform@communications.gov.au.

Explanatory notes to the Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Bill

Published 24 June 2020

Download Explanatory notes to the Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Bill PDF (917.92 KB)
Download Explanatory notes to the Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Bill DOC (253.04 KB)

These explanatory notes have been developed to accompany the exposure draft of the Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Bill. The purpose of these notes is to assist readers to understand the provisions of the Bill and how the legislative framework is designed to operate. This document reflects the provisions of the exposure draft of the Bill. Please note that this version of the Bill has been prepared for the purposes of consultation and is subject to change. It is expected that comments received on the exposure draft may lead to further review before the package is finalised. This document may not meet WCAG 2.0 requirements. For an accessible version, please email spectrumreform@communications.gov.au.

Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Bill 2020

Published 24 June 2020

Download Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Bill 2020 PDF (1.34 MB)
Download Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Bill 2020 DOC (271.13 KB)

This document may not meet WCAG 2.0 requirements. For an accessible version, please email spectrumreform@communications.gov.au.

Participate

24 Jun 2020 09:00 AEST
17 Jul 2020 17:00 AEST
Closed
This consultation is closed.