Melbourne man guilty of Radiocommunications Act offences

A Melbourne man who deliberately disrupted a taxi company’s radio communications system using a non-standard radio transmitter, has been fined $3,500 and ordered to pay costs after pleading guilty to three offences under the Radio-communications Act 1992 (the Act).

The court finding follows an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority into allegations of radio interference at West Gippsland Taxis Pty Ltd. ACMA Inspectors found the defendant using a transmitter that he had modified to disrupt taxi operations and make frivolous calls to Triple Zero and the RACV using the taxi service’s frequency.

The defendant pleaded guilty to three breaches under the Act:

  • operating a radio-communications device without a licence (subsection 46(1) of the Act)

  • causing a radio emission to be made by a transmitter knowing that it was a non-standard transmitter (section 157 of the Act)

  • causing substantial disruption or disturbance of radio-communications (section 197 of the Act).

In this case, the offender programmed a device to overcome security functions to deliberately disrupt radio-communications services, Radio-communications provide access to critical emergency and community services and the ACMA will not tolerate intentional non-compliance
— ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman

Non-standard radio-communications devices were an ACMA Priority Compliance Area for 2013-14. The public should be aware that operating modified or non-standard radio transmitters can cause interference to radio-communications, and the operator may incur significant penalties. More information is available here.

This case follows recent enforcement action taken against two security companies found operating radio-communications devices without a licence.