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Applications sought for new FM radio station licences

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Applications for new commercial FM radio licences in four regional cities are being invited by the Minister for Transport and Communications, Kim Beazley.

Additionally, two supplementary FM licence applications from 2BH Broken Hill (NSW) and 4LM Mt Isa (Qld) have been referred to the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal (ABT) for decision. '

Applications for the new licences, to serve Cairns and Bundaberg (Qld), Tamworth (NSW) and Sale (Vic.), are being sought in conjunction with previous applications made by 4CA Cairns, 4BU Bundaberg, 2TM Tamworth and 3TR Sale for supplementary licences in their respective markets.

Mr Beazley said today that the ABT would decide whether a new independent station was licensed in each of these markets or whether the existing AM licensee was awarded a, supplementary FM licence.

'The Government would prefer a new independent station in each of the cities, but the decision rests with the ABT', Mr Beazley said.

Calculated under current legislation, establishment fees for the four proposed new services are:

Cairns $3 747 968

Bundaberg $ 597 530 Sale $1 364 970

Tamworth $1 199 117

'I expect that the fees will be substantially reduced if Parliament passes amendments to the Broadcasting Act which will introduce a revised fee structure to be known as the FM Access Fee', Mr Beazley said.

'The introduction of the new legislation is imminent and the new fee structure is likely to be operational early next year.'


26 November 1991



Applications for the four licences close with the ABT in Sydney on 31 January 1992. Public inquiries will be held to determine the most suitable applicant for each respective licence.

'The other two markets, Broken Hill and Mt Isa, are comparatively small1, Mr Beazley said. 'I am pleased that the existing operators are prepared to proceed with the challenge of establishing FM services to run in conjunction with their AM stations'.

The ABT will hold an inquiry into the granting of these supplementary licences. '

'Currently, a fee does not apply to a supplementary licence, but it will if the proposed FM Access Fee is introduced', the Minister said.

Progress was being made in deciding the next group of regional markets to be considered for new FM services. His Department was currently consulting industry bodies and interested parties on the matter.

’I expect the areas to be included in the next round of licence invitations will be announced soon', Mr Beazley said.

Media contacts:

Minister’s Office: Gary O ’Neill (06) 277 7200 Department: Graeme Barrow (06) 274 7856

ABT: Fiona Chisholm (02) 959 7980