Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Determinations/Communications as made
This instrument determines that the 2 specified areas within the Remote and Regional WA TV1, Western Zone TV1 and Kalgoorlie TV1 licence areas are to become digital-only market areas from the times specified in the Determination.
Administered by: Communications and the Arts
Registered 17 Jul 2012
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR14-Aug-2012
Tabled Senate14-Aug-2012
Date of repeal 19 Mar 2015
Repealed by Other
Repealing Comments Enabling provision repealed by Schedule 2, item 99 of the Broadcasting and Other Legislation Amendment (Deregulation) Act 2015.

Explanatory Statement

 

Broadcasting Services Act 1992

 

Broadcasting Services (Digital-Only Local Market Areas for the Remote and Regional WA TV1, Western Zone TV1 and Kalgoorlie TV1 Licence Areas) Determination (No. 1) 2012

 

Issued by the authority of the Minister for Broadband, Communications

and the Digital Economy

 

Purpose

 

The Broadcasting Services (Digital-Only Local Market Areas for the Remote and Regional WA TV1, Western Zone TV1 and Kalgoorlie TV1 Licence Areas) Determination (No. 1) 2012 (the Determination) is made by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (the Minister) under subclause 5F(1) of Schedule 4 to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA).

 

The Determination is a legislative instrument for the purposes of section 5 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

 

The purpose of the Determination is to determine that specified areas within the Remote and Regional WA TV1, Western Zone TV1 and Kalgoorlie TV1 licence areas are to become digital-only local market areas from a specified time. This Determination determines that:

  • the area within the Remote and Regional WA TV1, Western Zone TV1 and Kalgoorlie TV1 licence areas that is within a 60km radius of the Esperance Transmission Site is to become a digital-only local market area from and including 29 August 2012; and
  • the area within the Remote and Regional WA TV1 and Western Zone TV1 licence areas that is within a 40km radius of the Kununurra Transmission Site is to become a digital-only local market area from and including 22 August 2012.

 

This would require commercial television broadcasting licensees and national broadcasters in these local market areas to cease transmitting their services in analog mode from the specified time. After that time, television broadcasts may only be transmitted in digital mode in the local market areas.

 

Background

 

Legislative background

 

The BSA enables the Minister to implement a phased, region-by-region digital television switchover timetable for metropolitan and regional licence areas. The dates for digital television switchover are set through a transitional period, known as the ‘simulcast period’, during which national and commercial television broadcasters are required to transmit simultaneously in analog and standard definition digital mode (unless an area is a digital-only local market area). At the end of the simulcast period, or at a time an area becomes a digital-only local market area, analog transmissions must cease. Only digital television transmissions are permitted after that time.  

 

Clause 5F of Schedule 4 to the BSA gives the Minister the power to determine, by legislative instrument, ‘digital-only local market areas’ for a licence area. The instrument has two components: the specification of a local market area and the specification of the time the local market area becomes a digital-only market area. This facilitates a switchover timetable based on geographical areas other than licence areas, recognising that a single licence area may contain a variety of local geographic, technical and market circumstances. In practice, clause 5F allows multiple switchover dates to be determined in a single licence area. Any part of a licence area that is not determined to be a digital-only local market area will switchover at the end of the simulcast period for the licence area or coverage area.

The making of a digital-only local market area is subject to the condition that the local market area be wholly included within a licence area (subclause 5F(2) of Schedule 4 to the BSA refers) and a time specified for a local market area to become a digital-only local market area must fall within the simulcast period for the licence area concerned (subclause 5F(3)). Once made, a determination is irrevocable (subclause 5F(4)), although it may be varied subject to the limitations set out in subclauses 5F(5) to (10). The Minister must consult the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) before making or varying a determination (subclause 5F(11)). 

 

The ACMA has determined that the Remote and Regional WA TV1, Western Zone TV1 and Kalgoorlie TV1 licence areas are remote licence areas for the purposes of Schedule 4 to the BSA (clause 5 of Schedule 4 refers).

 

Subclause 6(7A) of Schedule 4 provides that the simulcast period for remote licence areas is to begin on the date determined by the ACMA in accordance with subclause 6(6A) of Schedule 4 (which relates to the start-up of digital transmission in remote licence areas) and is to run for such a period as the ACMA determines under the Commercial Television Conversion Scheme 1999. Under clause 6B of Schedule 4, the ACMA must not determine that the simulcast period in a remote licence area ends after 31 December 2013.

 

The ACMA determined 30 June 2009 as the start of the simulcast period in the Regional and Remote WA TV1 licence area and 10 June 2010 as the start of the simulcast period in the Western Zone TV1 licence area and the Kalgoorlie TV1  licence area (section 138 of the Commercial Television Conversion Scheme 1999 refers). In the absence of a determination by the ACMA, the end of the simulcast period for these licence areas is 31 December 2013 (subsection 139(3) of the Commercial Television Conversion Scheme 1999 refers).

 

Simulcast period and establishment of digital-only services in the Remote and Regional WA TV1, Western Zone TV1 and Kalgoorlie TV1 licence areas

 

The Remote and Regional WA TV1, Western Zone TV1 and Kalgoorlie TV1 licence areas are remote licence areas for the purposes of Schedule 4 to the BSA. As noted above, in the absence of a determination by the ACMA, the end of the simulcast period for these licence areas is 31 December 2013.

 

 

Notes on Clauses

 

Clause 1 provides that the name of the Determination is the Broadcasting Services (Digital-Only Local Market Areas for the Remote and Regional WA TV1, Western Zone TV1 and Kalgoorlie TV1 Licence Areas) Determination (No. 1) 2012.

 

Clause 2 provides that the Determination takes effect from the day after it is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.

 

Clause 3 is a definitions clause.

 

Clause 4 is the main operative clause.

 

Clause 4.1 provides that certain areas wholly within the Remote and Regional WA TV1, Western Zone TV1 and Kalgoorlie TV1 licence areas are local market areas for the purposes of Schedule 4 to the BSA (paragraphs 4.1(a) and (b) refer). These areas are to become digital-only local market areas from and including the date specified under paragraphs 4.2(a) and (b) respectively.

 

Paragraph 4.1(a) provides that the area within the Remote and Regional WA TV1, Western Zone TV1 and Kalgoorlie TV1 licence areas that is within a 60km radius of the Esperance Transmission Site is a local market area. Paragraph 4.2(a) provides that this local market area is to become a digital-only local market area from and including 29 August 2012. Esperance Transmission Site is the location at 33 degrees 52 minutes 34 seconds south latitude and 121 degrees 53 minutes 35 seconds east longitude, which is known as the Telstra/NTA Site Wireless Hill, Esperance, with the Site Identification Number 30253, as identified in the Register of Radiocommunications Licences (clause 3 refers).

 

Paragraph 4.1(b) provides that the area within the Remote and Regional WA TV1 and Western Zone TV1 licence areas that is within a 40km radius of the Kununurra Transmission Site is a local market area from and  including 22 August 2012. Kununurra Transmission Site is the location at 15 degrees 45 minutes 52 seconds south latitude and 128 degrees 44 minutes 21 seconds east longitude, which is known as the Broadcast Site Kellys Knob, Kununurra, with the Site Identification Number 151801, as identified in the Register of Radiocommunications Licences (clause 3 refers).  The Kununurra East transmission site is also captured by this digital-only local market area as it is within the 40km radius of the Kununurra Transmission Site.

 

Details of each of the transmission sites mentioned above are contained in the Register of Radiocommunications Licences, which is established and maintained by the ACMA in accordance with section 143 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 and the Radiocommunications (Register of Radiocommunications Licences) Determination 1997 (clause 3 refers).

 

The digital-only local market areas determined by this Determination are illustrated in the maps at Attachments A and B. The maps identify the location of each of the transmission sites and the areas that are within the specified distance of those sites. The digital-only local market areas are illustrated in blue.

 

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights (prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011)

 

This Determination is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

Australia is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (one of the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011) (the ICCPR). Article 19(2) of the ICCPR protects freedom of expression, including the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, and the means of their dissemination. Article 15(1) of the ICESCR protects the right of everyone to take part in cultural life.

 

The effect of this Determination is that analog transmissions cease once the area is determined to be a digital-only local market area. Transmission in this area becomes digital only. The change in the mode of transmission does not limit the fundamental human right to freedom of expression as the viewer continues to have free access to television broadcasting services, albeit in digital mode only.

 

The move to digital television is reasonably accessible to all Australians and where vulnerable Australians need support to access digital television they are provided practical assistance by the Australian government through various programs.

 

The cessation of analog mode television is a necessary technological change, which has been occurring around the world. Digital television is more spectrally efficient and delivers television programs using a higher quality of transmission service and thus enhances the viewing experience for Australian audiences.

 

Based on this, this Determination is compatible with the rights protected by Article 15(1) of the ICESCR and Article 19(2) of the ICCPR.

 

Consultation

 

In accordance with subclause 5F(11) of Schedule 4 to the BSA, the Minister consulted with the ACMA before making this Determination. The ACMA raised no substantive concerns about the making of this Determination.

 

 


                                                                                                                                                                   Attachment A

 
Attachment B