15 July 2004
Ministerial direction on revisiting licence area plans - guideline for licensees
The Australian Broadcasting Authority has released a ‘Guideline for Licensees’ regarding the application of the Australian Broadcasting Authority (Revisiting Radio LAPs) Direction No.1 of 2003 (the Minister’s Direction). The guideline describes the assessment process that the ABA will use to determine whether it should consider revisiting a commercial radio licence area plan if there is a change in program format following a change of control in a licence.
‘This guideline will provide valuable information for commercial radio licensees when they are planning a change of station format,’ said Lyn Maddock, Acting ABA Chair.
The Minister’s Direction states that the ABA must consider whether to exercise its power to vary a licence area plan where, within three years of a change in control, a commercial radio program format changes from one of broad appeal to one of more limited appeal, and the change results in a reduction in the number of broad appeal services in a licence area. The purpose of the Minister’s Direction is to ensure that changes in control of commercial radio licences do not lead to reductions in the diversity or range of services available within relevant licence areas.
The Minister’s Direction was published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. GN 17 on 30 April 2003. The ABA provided all commercial radio broadcasting licensees with a copy of the Direction in June 2003.
Media contact Anne Parbury, ABA Manager Media and PR on (02) 9334 7873.