Vale ACMA liaison?
We have said it before, and we will say it again: one of the main reasons people join the WIA is to be represented to the regulator, the ACMA.
Well, our Board have been asleep at the wheel as far as representational issues are concerned.
Let’s look at some recent history. With considerable fanfare, the current Board sent their wish-list for LCD changes to the ACMA in 2015.
Was there any consultation with members? No. Any results for the average Amateur? No.
A more detailed Board submission was presented to the ACMA earlier this year. Consultation? Of course not…..
It takes a really special kind of hubris, an amazingly deep seated arrogance, to make such a sweeping submission on behalf of all Radio Amateurs without consulting the members at all….let alone the other two thirds of Australian Radio Amateurs who don’t belong to the WIA…..
As readers will recall, the WIA RG undertook an analysis of the last WIA Board submission to the ACMA. This can be found at http://wiarg.org/assessment-of-wia-submission-to-the-acma/
Clearly, any submission to the ACMA on amateur radio licencing conditions must reflect the views of amateur radio operators.
Unlike the WIA Board, we believe in consultation. To that end, we undertook an electronic survey on licencing (read about it here: http://wiarg.org/licence-conditions-survey-results-june-2016/).
There were a number of outcomes from the survey, summarised as follows:
- no change in the current band allocations/privileges for the Foundation and Standard licence grades;
- no change to the number of licence grades – i.e. the three existing grades to remain;
- Foundation Licence holders to be granted data modes, subject to modification of the training syllabus;
- revision of the Advanced syllabus to include modern modes such as PSK31, JT65, digital voice, etc; and
- support for a separate training module on electromagnetic radiation safety for Advanced licencees.
Fast forward to the latest submission from the WIA to the ACMA, which was yet another vague, unjustified ambit claim…this time for 500 kHz at 70 MHz…..
Whilst we welcome new amateur bands, there are far more pressing issues that need to be considered for the benefit of all VK amateurs:
- excessive delays in licencing of amateur repeaters;
- problems with licence renewals;
- clarification on permitted transmitter frequency coverage for amateurs;
- data modes for Foundation Licencees;
- revision of the current Foundation callsign template to allow for three letter suffix callsigns; and
- methods of streamlining the examination and licencing system through the use of online technologies.
Are these issues being considered by our Board? Why did the Board deliberately exclude members and non-members from the process? Or are they too busy fighting among themselves over which one of them decides what’s best for all of us?
On behalf of all VK radio amateurs, we have asked the Board to clarify their priorities.
Maybe you should ask them too…..
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.
Every week we get emails of support and we’ll continue to call this Board to account as well as making positive, consultative contributions to the future of the hobby.
However, there are still many people who are unaware of the WIA Reform Group.
Forward this email to your local club and friends. Take a copy when you meet local amateurs for a coffee. If they contact Feedback@wiarg.org we can send them a newsletter direct.
Stay up-to-date with news and progress; – visit www.wiarg.org .
We’ll continue to challenge this Board and demand better results. A strong WIA is critical to protect our hobby. We encourage every radio amateur in Australia to be a member.
Until next week,
G.C. Dunstan VK4DU, C. Chapman VK3QB, R. Dollar VK8RD
Ps. We don’t want to spam you. Send us an email if you’d prefer we remove you from our mailing list.