Database House Hansard
Date 09-05-1957
Source House of Reps
Parl No. 22
Party CP
Speaker DAVIDSON, Charles
System Id hansard80/hansardr80/1957-05-09/0025


Mr DAVIDSON (DAWSON, QUEENSLAND) (Postmaster-General) - This is a subject with which I have dealt previously in the House, I think, from recollection, in reply to a question asked by the honorable member for Capricornia. I am therefore able to give the honorable member for Maranoa some information on it. The honorable member has referred to the " infringement " by certain commercial users of the bands assigned to amateur radio operators. I suggest, with respect, that the term " infringement " is not quite the correct term, in that the use by commercial interests of parts of the spectrum allotted to amateurs is within their authority, acting under the provisions laid down by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. In other words there is no infringement, so far as the board is concerned. The overall position is that the use of the radio spectrum throughout the world is determined largely by the International Telecommunications Union. It is essential, in order to avoid cluttering up the spectrum, so to speak, that there should be international regulations governing the use of the various bands in the spectrum by those services that require them, so that there will be a minimum of interference. Consequently, all members of the union agree to accept regulations which the union promulgates from time to time, under which certain frequencies are allotted to amateur operators who, of course, play a very important part and do a great deal of international work. At the same time, provision is made for the allocation for other purposes by member countries of parts of the spectrum allotted to the amateur bodies, and each country is free, if it so desires, to make such allocations. That has been done in this case. The honor able member asked me whether this matter could be taken up with the International Telecommunications Union. It is not exactly within the province of that body, in these circumstances, because an overall assignment has been made and Australia has the right, if it considers it desirable to do so, to allot some portion of these bands to other users.

Following the question of the honorable member for Capricornia, I had a look at the uses made of these bands by services other than amateurs. My information to date is that there is no serious interference with the operations of amateur radio enthusiasts as a result of the use of a portion of the spectrum by other bodies. I will have another look at the matter for the honorable member, but my information at present is that there is really no need for an alteration of the present allocation.

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