No more KW for VK Licence

Announced as the first item in this weeks national broadcast from the Wireless Institute of Australia, Phil Waite president of the WIA informed all Australian amateurs that the ACMA (the radio governing body in Australia) have announced that the High Power Trial, where hundreds of VK Advanced license holders have been operating with up to 1KW PEP SSB on specified HF bands for the last 18 months, will NOT be extended past the end of August and the license definitions will revert back to a maximum of 400W PEP output.

The reason given by the ACMA was that some of the respondents in the test did not understand how to measure, or the effects of, electromagnetic radiation and the regulations related thereto. This decision has been made despite the fact that many, many amateurs have received a letter giving a "pass" mark to their submissions. There was no indication of any issues related to interference to any other radio spectrum users.

The ACMA added that this lack of knowledge was not just related to Amateur Radio operators but other radio operations areas as well.

The WIA will be allowed to re-apply on behalf of Australian amateur radio enthusiasts for the KW permit next year - presumably by proving education around EMR has taken place.

At this time, there appears to be no restriction on owning amplifiers capable of a KW as long as when inspected, they are found to be set to emit a maximum of 400W PEP.

The reaction to this statement in the contest groups has been to query why all have been punished for the lack of knowledge of a few.

The acceptance of a higher power level in-line with many other nations (including Australia's direct neighbour New Zealand) was always going to be a difficult change to get the ACMA to accept in this time of reducing budgets and other "higher importance" tasks, that the ACMA have to manage.

We'll need to see what 2014 brings, but I pity those Australian amateur radio equipment dealers with big expensive linear amplifiers in their stock.    

Thanks to Ed, VK2Ji for reporting this story