ACMA proposes new approach for recreational boaters operating VHF marine radios
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has identified reform options for the recreational boating community that it believes will improve use of VHF marine radios while reducing the regulatory burden, according to a consultation paper released today.
A new approach for recreational boaters who operate VHF marine radios has been released as part of the second phase of the ACMA's review of VHF marine radio operator qualification arrangements for recreational boaters.
'The ACMA has a preference for removing the mandatory requirement for recreational boaters to hold a certificate of proficiency for communications in VHF bands in Australian territorial waters,' said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
'On the evidence available, the ACMA has reached the view that there are more effective ways to achieve its spectrum management objective of enabling the correct use of VHF channels and protocols by recreational boaters. Information and awareness campaigns aimed at all marine radio users, not just VHF, would promote correct channel usage and radio protocols,' said Mr Chapman.
The approach preferred by the ACMA would reduce the regulatory burden on the recreational boating community, in keeping with government deregulation policy. Importantly, recreational boaters would continue to be able to obtain certificates of proficiency and would still be required to hold a certificate for VHF communications outside Australian territorial waters
'The ACMA is also interested in ascertaining whether, in the long term, marine radio certification arrangements would be best managed by an organisation with closer ties to the marine community,' said Mr Chapman.
The consultation paper invites comment from all interested parties, including recreational boaters who operate VHF marine radios, regardless of whether or not they have a radio qualification.
This consultation paper represents the second public step in the review of VHF Marine Radio Operator Qualification arrangements which began with the release of the discussion paper released in September 2009-ACMA seeks views on use of VHF radio by recreational boaters.
The ACMA response to the submissions received in relation to that discussion paper has also been released today. Both it and the consultation paper are available on the ACMA website.
The closing date for comments on the consultation paper is Monday 28 February 2011.
For more information on the consultation paper or to arrange an interview please contact: Donald Robertson, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980, 0418 86 1766 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 17 December 2010.
The ACMA is Australia's regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA's strategic intent is to make communications and media work in Australia's public interest. For more information: www.acma.gov.au.