ACMA seeks views on use of VHF radio

ACMA seeks views on use of VHF radio by recreational boaters
Responding to concerns about declining standards in the use of marine radio and compliance with the requirement to hold an operators' certificate of proficiency, the Australian Communications and Media Authority today released a discussion paper about regulatory arrangements for VHF marine radios used by recreational boat operators.

The discussion paper invites comment from marine radio users about safety and the use of VHF radio by recreational boaters and follows concerns expressed by the National Marine Safety Committee and representatives of the maritime community.

‘Correct radio use is fundamental to the safety of the maritime community', said Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA. ‘Our discussion paper outlines a range of ideas aimed at achieving more appropriate VHF radio use amongst recreational boaters and we want the ‘boaties' to give us their vital feedback.'

The ACMA is encouraging those with an interest in this issue to contribute to this review, including all relevant government and non-government bodies at the state and territory level and recreational boat operators.

The ACMA is interested in receiving comment on issues such as:

the mandatory nature of Certificates of Proficiency for operators of VHF marine radio; and
the possibility of marine radio use for safety purposes being addressed by other agencies involved in recreational boating regulation.
The discussion paper, VHF Marine Radio Operator Qualification Arrangements – Non-Commercial (Recreational) Vessels, is available on the ACMA website.

Submissions should be sent to mrowp@acma.gov.au by 18 December 2009.

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