Ministerial Policy Statement—Expiring Spectrum Licences

We're seeking views on a draft Ministerial Policy Statement (MPS) that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) must have regard to in making decisions with respect to certain spectrum licences expiring between 2028 and 2032.

Why we want your input

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has established a four stage process for considering the future arrangements for spectrum licences due to expire between 2028 and 2032. We are seeking views on a draft Ministerial Policy Statement that specifies the policies of the Government that the ACMA must have regard to in performing its spectrum management functions and exercising its spectrum management powers with respect to certain licences that are due to expire between 2028 and 2032.

How you can voice your opinion

You can provide input by 5pm on 10 April 2024 by uploading your submission using the ‘Have your say now’ button below or emailing us at

What will be the outcome of this consultation?

Your submission will be considered by the Australian Government before the draft Ministerial Policy Statement is finalised.

The Issue

A large number of spectrum licences are due to expire between 2028 and 2032. These expiring spectrum licences (ESLs) span a number of frequency bands and are used for a diverse range of applications, including mobile and fixed wireless broadband, rail safety and communications and electronic news gathering.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has primary responsibility for making decisions relating to ESLs. The ACMA published its approach to expiring spectrum licences consultation paper in May 2023. In December 2023, the ACMA released its Expiring spectrum licences finalised framework and response to submissions. The December paper finalised the ACMA's 4-stage approach to the ESLs and affirms the public interest criteria for the ESL process.

In recognition of the significance of the ESL process, the Minister for Communications wrote to the Chair of ACMA on 14 December 2023, expressing her support for the ACMA's proposed 4-stage process and public interest criteria and reiterated her policy priorities identified in the December 2022 Statement of Expectations. The Minister also indicated that she was considering issuing a Ministerial Policy Statement (MPS) to guide the ACMA in its ESL process. The Minister committed to publicly consult on any draft MPS, with an aim to finalise the MPS by the end of April 2024. The ACMA's December paper acknowledges the Minister's 14 December letter, and notes the Minister's intent to consult on an MPS.

The Minister has the power under section 28B of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act) to provide high-level policy guidance to ACMA about the Government's policies for spectrum management through the issue of Ministerial Policy Statements.  Although the ACMA retains decision making discretion the ACMA must have regard to any relevant MPS under section 28C of the Act.

The draft MPS is not intended to apply directly to the expiring spectrum licences currently being used for broadcast services (primarily electronic news gathering) in the 2570–2620 MHz (2.5 GHz mid-band gap) band, or to those used for metropolitan rail safety and communications services in the 1800 MHz band. However, these licences would still be considered as part of the ACMA's comprehensive expiring spectrum licences process.

The Department is seeking stakeholder views on the draft MPS, including views on the scope the MPS and policy priorities identified.

Relevant documentation


Consultation on the draft MPS was open for submissions from 15 March to 12 April 2024.

Sixteen submissions were received from a mix of incumbent and non-incumbent spectrum licence holders. While differing views were offered on the extent to which the Government’s policy objectives should promote preserving existing services or opportunities for new entrants and use cases, submissions were broadly supportive of the draft MPS and indicated it would add clarity to the broader ESL process.

Published formal submissions can be viewed below.

The MPS – the Radiocommunications (Ministerial Policy Statement – Expiring Spectrum Licences) Instrument 2024 is available at

For more information about the MPS see: Ministerial Policy Statement for expiring spectrum licences

See also: Media Release—New Ministerial Policy Statement for expiring spectrum licences


15 Mar 2024 10:00 AEDT
12 Apr 2024 17:00 AEST
This consultation is closed.

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Community Broadcasting Association of Australia
Free TV
NSW Telco Authority