Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Rule enforcement

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

General

  • s 205XA - if the ACMA has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has contravened a designated infringement notice provision, an ACMA officer can issue a formal warning that the officer may be entitled to give the person an infringement notice relating to the contravention.

Ownership and control

  • s 38C - the ACMA can give a commercial television services licensee a written warning notice due to contravention of licence condition for services provided with the use of a satellite.
  • s 121FL - the ACMA must issue a formal warning to an international broadcasting licensee where service is contrary to Australia's national interest.

Content regulation

  • Sch 7 Cl 47 - the ACMA must issue a written take-down notice to a hosting service in relation to prohibited content.
  • Sch 7 Cl 56 - the ACMA must issue a service-cessation notice to a live content service provider in relation to prohibited content.

Codes and standards

  • s 130W - the ACMA may issue a formal warning for a contravention of an industry standard registered under Part 9B of this Act.
  • Sch 5 Cl 67 - the ACMA may issue a formal warning if a person contravenes an online services industry code.
  • Sch 5 Cl 73 - the ACMA may issue a formal warning if a person contravenes an online services industry standard.
  • Sch 7 Cl 90 - the ACMA may issue a formal warning if a person contravenes a content industry services code.
  • Sch 7 Cl 96 - the ACMA may issue a formal warning for contravention of a content services industry standard.

Telecommunications Act 1997

Carrier licensing and conduct

  • s 70 - the ACMA may issue a formal warning if a carrier contravenes a condition of its

    carrier licence.

Service provider conduct

  • s 103 - the ACMA may issue a formal warning if a person contravenes a service provider rule.

Codes and standards

  • s 122 - the ACMA may issue a formal warning if a person contravenes an industry code registered under Part 6. If the contravention relates to privacy, the ACMA must consult the Information Commissioner before issuing the warning.
  • s 129 - the ACMA may issue a formal warning if a person contravenes an industry standard registered under Pt 6.

Protection of communications

  • s 295T - the ACMA may issue a formal warning in relation to a contravention of the Integrated Public Number Database (‘IPND’) scheme authorisation.

Technical regulation

  • s 400 - the ACMA may issue a formal warning to the holder of a connection permit if they contravene a condition to which the permit is subject.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Ownership and control

  • s 65B - the ACMA may issue an infringement notice for contravention of ownership and control notifications under ss 63 and 64 of this Act.

Content regulation

  • Sch 7 Cl 62 - the ACMA must issue a link-deletion notice to a links service provider in relation to prohibited content.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Content regulation

  • Sch 7 Cll 48, 53, 57 - the ACMA may accept undertakings relating to prohibited or potentially prohibited content.
  • Sch 5 Cl 83 - the ACMA may issue a remedial direction in relation to a breach of online provider rules. The ACMA may give a provider a written direction requiring the provider to take specified action directed towards ensuring that the provider does not contravene the rule. If a person engages in conduct that contravenes a direction from the ACMA, this is considered an offence.

Radiocommunications Act 1992

Licensing

  • s 75 - the ACMA may suspend a spectrum licence by written notice to the licensee. The ACMA must give reasons for the suspension.
  • s 77 - the ACMA may cancel a spectrum licence by written notice to the licensee. The notice must give the reasons for cancelling the licence.
  • s 101 - the ACMA may request an applicant for a transmitter or receiver licence to submit a device for testing by the ACMA, by written notice to the applicant.
  • s 114 - the ACMA may direct an apparatus licensee not to authorise third party use, by written notice to the licensee within 30 days after receiving a notice of intention.
  • s 116 - the ACMA may revoke authorisation relating to apparatus licences where a licensee has contravened a licence condition, by written notice to the licensee.
  • ss 126, 128 - the ACMA may suspend or cancel an apparatus licence, by written notice to the licensee. The notice must give the reasons for cancelling the licence.
  • ss 128C, 128D - the ACMA may suspend or cancel a datacasting transmitter licence, by written notice given to the licensee, if the licensee or a person authorised by the licensee has contravened a licence condition.
  • s 190 - the ACMA may, by published notice, declare that operation or supply of a specified device is prohibited for the reasons set out in the notice (such a notice is a statutory rule).

Telecommunications Act 1997

Carrier licensing and conduct

  • s 72 - the ACMA must not cancel a carrier licence unless it has first given the carrier a written notice setting out a proposal for cancellation of the licence and inviting the carrier to make a submission to the ACMA on the proposal.

Technical regulation

  • s 402 - the ACMA may, by written notice, cancel a connection permit.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Ownership and control

  • s 61AS - the ACMA may accept undertakings in relation to an unacceptable media diversity situation or an unacceptable 3-way control situation in a commercial radio licence area.
  • s 205W - the ACMA may accept an enforceable undertaking in relation to compliance with the BSA or a registered code of practice.

Radiocommunications Act 1992

Licensing

  • s 298C - the ACMA may accept a written undertaking about compliance with the RA.
  • s 298D - the ACMA may apply to the Federal Court for enforcement of a undertaking given under section 298C.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

Ownership and control

  • s 61AN - the ACMA may give remedial directions relating to an unacceptable media diversity situation.
  • s 61ANA - the ACMA may give remedial directions relating to an unacceptable 3-way control situation.
  • s 121FH - the ACMA may give remedial directions in relation to unlicensed international broadcasting services. The ACMA may give written notice to a person where satisfied that a person has breached or is breaching subsection 121FG(3).
  • s 121FJB - the ACMA may give a remedial direction relating to a breach of an international broadcasting licence condition, by written notice to the licensee.
  • s 137 - the ACMA may give a remedial direction in relation to a person providing a broadcasting service without a licence.
  • s 141 - the ACMA may give a remedial direction in relation to a breach of commercial television or radio, community broadcasting or subscription television licences.
  • Sch 6 Cl 50 - the ACMA may issue a remedial direction in relation to unlicensed datacasting services, by written notice given to the person.
  • Sch 6 Cl 53 - the ACMA may issue a remedial direction in relation to a breach of a datacasting licence, by written notice given to the licensee.

Content regulation

  • Sch 7 cll 106-110 - If a person is a designated content/hosting service provider and they engage in conduct that contravenes a designated provider rule, this is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply. The ACMA may give the designated content/hosting provider a written direction (remedial direction) requiring the provider to take specified action towards ensuring that the provider does not contravene the rule. Contravention of a remedial direction is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply.
    The ACMA may issue a formal warning to a person if satisfied that the person has breached a rule. The ACMA may also apply to the Federal Court for an order that the person cease providing the designated content/hosting service.

Radiocommunications Act 1992

Technical regulation and standards

  • s 212 - the ACMA may issue directions in relation to an interference dispute or a disruption or disturbance, having regard to a conciliator's report.

Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act

  • s 118 - the ACMA may give a carriage service provider (‘CSP’) a remedial direction for contraventions against performance standards.
  • s 130 - the ACMA may give a CSP a written notice directing the  provider to enter into the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (‘TIO’) scheme.
  • s 12EI - the ACMA may, by written notice, direct a provider not to remove a payphone from a particular location.

Telecommunications Act 1997

Carrier licensing and conduct

  • s 69 - the ACMA may give the carrier a written direction requiring the carrier to take specified action directed towards ensuring that the carrier does not contravene a licence condition.

Service provider conduct

  • s 102 - the ACMA may give a provider a written direction requiring the provider to take specified action directed towards ensuring that the carrier does not contravene the services provider rule.

Codes and standards

  • ss 121, 122 - the ACMA may give a person a written notice directing them to comply with an industry code or, if the contravention relates to privacy, consult the Information Commissioner before doing so.

Protection of communications

  • s 295S - the ACMA may give a person a written direction requiring the person to take specified action to ensure they do not contravene a condition of access to the IPND scheme.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

General

  • s 202 - non-compliance with a requirement from the ACMA to give evidence/produce documents can incur the civil penalty of one year of imprisonment.

Ownership and control

  • ss 61AG, 61AH, 61AN, 61AS - transactions relating to unacceptable media diversity situations are an offence. A civil penalty may apply. If the ACMA is satisfied that an unacceptable media diversity situation exists, the ACMA may give a person such written directions as the ACMA considers appropriate to ensure that the situation ceases to exist. The ACMA may accept undertakings relating to ensuring that an unacceptable media diversity situation does not exist.
  • ss 61AL, 61AM - breach of a notice from the ACMA relating to prior temporary approval of a transaction relating to an unacceptable media diversity situation is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply.
  • ss 61AMA, 61AMB, 61ANA, 61AS - entering transactions not approved by the ACMA that relate to an unacceptable 3-way control situation is an offence. A civil penalty may apply. The ACMA may give a person written directions appropriate for the purpose of ensuring that an unacceptable 3-way control situation ceases to exist. The ACMA may also accept undertakings to this effect.
  • ss 61AME, 61 AMF - breach of a notice from the ACMA relating to prior approval of an unacceptable 3-way control situation is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply.
  • ss 61AQ, 61AR - breach of remedial direction from the ACMA about an unacceptable media diversity/unacceptable 3-way control situation is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply.
  • ss 121FG, 121FH - providing international broadcasting services without a licence from the ACMA is guilty of an offence. The ACMA may give a person written notice directing them to take action to ensure that they do not breach this provision.
  • ss 121FHA, 121FHB - if a person contravenes a requirement in a remedial direction given by the ACMA under s 121FH relating to an unlicensed international broadcasting service, this is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply.
  • ss 131, 132, 133, 136, 137 - providing an unlicensed commercial television, commercial radio or subscription television service is considered a separate offence in respect of each day during which the breach continues. A civil penalty may apply.
  • ss 134, 135, 136, 137 - providing an unlicensed community television or radio service is considered a separate offence in respect of each day during which the breach continues. A civil penalty may apply. If the ACMA is satisfied that a breach has occurred, they may direct the person, by written notice, to take action towards ensuring that the breach does not continue.
  • ss 138, 138A - a breach of remedial direction in relation to unlicensed services is considered to be an offence. A civil penalty may apply.
  • s 140A(2) - a commercial television broadcasting licensee (Sch 2 Cl 7(1)), subscription television broadcasting licensee (Sch 2 Cl 10(1)), commercial broadcasting licensee (Sch 2 Cl 8(1)), community broadcasting licensee (Sch 2 Cl 9(1)), temporary community broadcasting licensee (Sch 2 Cl 9(1)) or a person providing a subscription radio broadcasting service (Sch 2 Cl 11(1)) must not breach an applicable condition of their licence, set out in this act. A breach is considered an offence under s 139. A civil penalty may apply.
  • ss 142, 142A - a breach of a remedial direction about a breach of a licence condition/failure to comply with a code of practice is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply.
  • Sch 6, Cll 49, 50 and 55 - providing a designated datacasting service without a licence and non-compliance with an unlicensed datacasting service remedial direction notice are considered offences. A civil penalty may apply.
  • Sch 6, Cll 52, 52A, 53, 54, 55 - a breach of datacasting/restricted datacasting licensing conditions is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply. The ACMA may give a licensee written notice that directs the licensee to take action towards ensuring that the licensee does not breach the condition. The ACMA also has the option of suspending or cancelling a licence.
  • Sch 6 Cl 55 - the ACMA may apply for a Federal Court injunction to restrain a person or datacasting licensee from contravening their licence and to prevent a person from providing a designated datacasting service without a licence.

Content regulation

  • Sch 7 Cll 106, 107, 108, 109, 110 - non-compliance with designated content/hosting provider rules and non-compliance with a direction to comply with designated content/hosting provider rules is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply. The ACMA may give a written direction requiring the provider to take specified action towards ensuring that the provider does not contravene the rule. A contravention of this direction is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply. The ACMA may issue a formal warning to a person who has contravened a designated provider rule. The ACMA may apply to the Federal Court for an order to cease providing a designated content/hosting service.

Codes and standards

  • ss 130B and 130BA - the supply of domestic reception equipment not compliant with technical standard is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply.
  • ss 130V and 130W - the failure to comply with an industry standard is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply. The ACMA may issue a formal warning if the person contravenes a registered industry standard.
  • s 142 - a breach of a remedial direction about a breach of a licence condition/failure to comply with a code of practice is considered to be an offence.

Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act

  • s 57 - the ACMA may recover a debt due to it on behalf of the Commonwealth, in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

General

  • s 202 - Non-compliance with a requirement from the ACMA to give evidence/produce documents can give rise to the civil penalty of one year imprisonment.

Ownership and control

  • ss 66, 67, 70 - where a transaction places a person in breach of Division 2 or 3 and the person knew or ought reasonably to have known that the transaction would place them in breach and they have not received approval from the ACMA, this is considered an offence. A person may apply in writing to the ACMA prior to entering a transaction that would place a person in breach of a provision of Division 2 or 3 for approval of the breach. The ACMA may, in writing given to the applicant, approve the breach and specify a period during which action must be taken to ensure that the breach ceases.
    If satisfied that a person is in breach of a provision of Division 2 or 3, the ACMA may, by notice in writing given to the person or licensee, direct the person to take action so that the person is no longer in breach.
  • ss 61AG, 61AH, 61AN, 61AS - if one or more transactions take place that result in an unacceptable media diversity situation in relation to the licence area of a commercial radio broadcasting licence and a person is a party to the transactions or in a position to prevent the transactions, they are considered to have committed an offence. A civil penalty may also apply. If the ACMA is satisfied that an unacceptable media diversity situation exists in relation to the licence area of a commercial radio broadcasting licence, the ACMA may give such written directions as it considers appropriate for ensuring that the situation ceases to exist.
    The ACMA may accept a written undertaking that a person will take action to ensure that an unacceptable media diversity situation does not exist in relation to the licence area of a commercial radio broadcasting licence.
  • ss 61AMA, 61AMB, 61AMC, 61AME, 61AMF, 61ANA, 61AQ, 61AR, 61AS - if one or more transactions take place that result in an unacceptable 3-way control situation and a person is a party to the transactions or in a position to prevent the transactions, they are considered to have committed an offence. A civil penalty may also apply. The ACMA may give prior written approval to transactions that result in an unacceptable 3-way control situation in response to an application from a person before the transaction has occurred. If a person engages in conduct that contravenes a requirement in the notice of prior approval, this is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply.
    If the ACMA is satisfied that an unacceptable 3-way control situation exists in relation to the licence area of a commercial radio broadcasting licence, the ACMA may give such written directions as it considers appropriate for ensuring that the situation ceases to exist. If a person engages in conduct that contravenes a requirement in this remedial direction, this is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply.
    The ACMA may accept a written undertaking that the person will take specified action to ensure that an unacceptable 3-way control situation does not exist in relation to the licence area of a commercial radio broadcasting licence.
  • s 61BF - If a person is in a position to exercise control of each media operation in a set of media operations and a newspaper is in the set, and material published in a particular edition of the newspaper is wholly or partly about the business affairs of a commercial television or radio broadcasting licensee whose licence is in the set, a disclosure of the cross-media relationship is to be made by the newspaper publisher. If the disclosure is not made, the person is guilty of an offence.
  • ss 63, 64, 65B - commercial television or radio broadcasting licensees/datacasting transmitter licensees/newspaper publishers are required to notify the ACMA in writing of changes in control and directorships within 10 business days after becoming so aware. Persons coming into positions of control are required to notify the ACMA in writing that they are now in a position to exercise control of the licence within 10 business days after becoming so aware.
    Sections 63 and 64 are designated infringement notice provisions.
  • ss 69, 72 - a breach of notice for prior approval of a temporary breach (s 67) of limitation on control or directorship or breach of notice directing compliance (s 70) on control or directorship, is considered an offence.
  • ss 103ZA, 103ZB - a licensee, channel provider or part-channel provider providing one or more subscription TV drama services must, within 60 days of the end of the financial year, give the ACMA a return containing the required information. If a person intentionally contravenes this requirement, it is considered an offence.
  • ss 121FG, 121FH, 121FHA, 121FHB, 121FJ, 121FJA, 121FJB, 121FJC, 121FJD - if a person intentionally provides an international broadcasting service without a licence and is reckless as to that fact, this is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply. The ACMA may, by written notice given to the person (a remedial direction), direct the person to take action directed towards ensuring they do not commit a breach of this nature. If a person engages in conduct that contravenes a remedial direction from the ACMA, this is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply. If a person engages in conduct that breaches a condition of their international broadcasting licence, this is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply. The ACMA may, by written notice given to the licensee, direct the licensee to take action directed towards ensuring they do not breach that condition. If a person engages in conduct that contravenes a remedial direction from the ACMA, it is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply.
  • s 121FLF - breaching a condition of a nominated broadcaster declaration is considered an offence.
  • ss 131, 132, 133, 136, 137 - providing an unlicensed commercial television or radio, community television or radio, or subscription television service is considered an offence. A person in breach is guilty of a separate offence in respect of each day during which the breach continues. The ACMA may, by written notice given to the person, direct the person to take action towards ensuring that they do not breach the relevant section.
  • ss 138, 138A - breach of remedial direction about unlicensed services is considered an offence and may attract a civil penalty.
  • ss 139, 140A - a commercial television broadcasting licensee (Sch 2 Cl 7(1)), subscription television broadcasting licensee (Sch 2 Cl 10(1)), commercial broadcasting licensee (Sch 2 Cl 8(1)), community broadcasting licensee (Sch 2 Cl 9(1)), temporary community broadcasting licensee (Sch 2 Cl 9(1)) or a person providing a subscription radio broadcasting service (Sch 2 Cl 11(1)) must not breach an applicable condition of their licence, set out in this act. A breach is considered an offence under s 139. A civil penalty may apply.
  • s 146F - a commercial television broadcasting licensee program suppliers must not intentionally or recklessly contravene the anti-hoarding rule.
  • Sch 6 Cll 49, 50, 55 - it is considered an offence to intentionally provide a datacasting service without a licence. A civil penalty may apply. The ACMA may give a written notice to a person directing them to take action towards ensuring they do not provide an unlicensed datacasting service. The ACMA may also apply to the Federal Court for an injunction.
  • Sch 6 Cll 52, 52A, 53, 54, 55 - a breach of a datacasting/restricted datacasting licensing condition is considered an offence. A civil penalty may apply. The ACMA may give a written notice to a licensee directing action directed towards ensuring that the licensee does not breach a condition. Non-compliance with this notice is considered an offence or may result in the ACMA, by written notice to the person, suspend or cancel their licence. The ACMA may also apply to the Federal Court for an injunction.

Codes and standards

  • ss 130B, 130 BA - supply of domestic reception equipment not compliant with technical standard.
  • ss 130V, 130W - failure to comply with industry standard.
  • s 142 - breach of remedial direction about a breach of licence condition/failure to comply with Code of practice.

Telecommunications Act 1997

Protection of communications

  • Part 13 - breach of primary disclosure/use offence.