huntertvHunter TV, an aspirant community broadcaster for the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, has been denied access to a broadcast frequency by the communications watchdog.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has denied the application citing the current re-stack of frequency allocations following the analogue shutdown plus “policy uncertainty”. ACMA clarified that its decision was not a reflection on Hunter TV’s proposed service but rather on the technical and political limitations:

“The ACMA is generally not making spectrum available for high power open narrowcasting television in order to preserve options for the use of the unallocated TV channel.”

It was reported last month that Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is looking at reviewing options for utilising the spare sixth channel which could also have repercussions for the existing community broadcasters now in operation in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Broome.

Hunter TV manager Rod Breis has rejected ACMA’s ruling, citing the availability of three frequencies in the local area, and plans to take the case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Despite not having a broadcast licence Hunter TV already has production and playout systems in place and has been producing programs, including a children’s show and outside broadcasts, which can be streamed via their website or viewed on YouTube.

The venture also has the support of local politicians, business owners and the Newcastle City Council.

Source: Newcastle Herald, Hunter TV




12 thoughts on “Hunter TV denied access to broadcast

  1. I wish Rod Breis all the success in the world and hope he can beat the ACMA. The ACMA has no friend in me! I’m likely the regulator’s(?) harshest of critics. I took my claim of unjust expulsion from a community radio station to them – twice – and they failed(I reckon they refused) to do anything about it, even though Code 2 of the community radio Codes Of Practice spells out the rights and responsibilities of volunteers in this sector. The ACMA has absolutely no grounds to refuse airspace to a worthy user, considering the utter waste of airspace occupied by shopping channels flogging total rubbish that no-one in their right mind would waste their money to buy.

  2. we have community television on the south coast only catch is if you want to be a volunteer you must have previous television knowledge in production and other skills I first heard about community television about twenty three years ago my thoughts were well we have community radio why not community television at least it has 100% local content well almost local

    1. Andrew M., it depends to a large degree on the make-up of a committee in these type of organisations. Some may require a prior knowledge and experience, others may welcome those who, though they may not have the TV background, nevertheless have the ability to use a digital video camera to good effect, and be able to edit their material using the software available today that gives excellent results(I use Corel Video Studio Pro X5 and Cyberlink Power Director 8, the last-named is also my software of choice for disc authoring[burning]). You can’t be born with experience in anything you seek to do, you have to obtain that experience from somewhere, and where better than a community-based radio or TV station? As things stand, I might be getting involved soon with a group in this field. Will keep you posed when I learn more.

  3. Has there been any update on this story since it was posted about two weeks ago? I’ve been following this story and checking to see if any additional comments have been posted here as I have met a fellow who wants to start a related group which hopes to produce content which may be broadcast over such a station.

  4. Had a meeting this evening(24/7/2014) with Peter Boyd and some other people, when one of our group announced that Rod Breis has been successful in his bid to gain a Community TV licence for his Hunter TV organisation. I haven’t got all the details as yet but another friend who was also at this meeting said he heard it on local radio in Newcastle. I opened this website to see if the news was picked up here by the moderator. I’m waiting on confirmation, which means that Peter, myself and other interested people can group together and form an association to produce programmes for Hunter TV. Just waiting on confirmation, that’s all we need.

  5. Still nothing on this website to confirm what I heard on 24/7/2014. Has the moderator of this website not heard anything on this as yet?

    1. As I’d stated in my post of 24th July, I had it from a friend, who heard it on local commercial radio that Rod Breis HAD indeed gained his community TV licence. The ACMA had earlier knocked back his application, but Mr. Breis must’ve since followed through and gone to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and the ATT upheld Mr. Breis’s claim(or so I can surmise from what I’ve heard). I hasten to say I personally did not hear the report(I don’t listen to commercial radio anymore), but my friend did, and he is a credible source of information. I will attempt to find out more.

  6. I sent Ron Breis an email on Wednesday, 30th July(googled his name and found his email address) but as yet have received no reply. Fingers crossed, still waiting, still hoping for some more detail.

  7. Here it is, 13th August, still no news. A discussion with a recent acquaintance, who suggested Bries might’ve “jumped the gun”, maybe. But the hard part’s over, he’s secured the licence, now he can concentrate on bringing it all together, getting a transmitter and a frequency allocation(plus access to translators). This may take time but hopefully someone who is technically savvy within his existing group may yet come up with “the goods”!

  8. Have seen news on another website(TV Tonight) that HunterTV has indeed gained a 12-month licence. Things may be looking up!

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