The Australian Communications and Media Authority will make channel capacity available for a new low power community radio service to serve the Perth city area. The new service would operate on 90.5 MHz.

The decision is contained in a variation to the radio licence area plan for Perth released today.

‘The two active aspirant community broadcasters Capital Community Radio and Western Sports Media that have been sharing the frequency will continue to share the frequency until licence applications are called for the new permanent service,’ said Giles Tanner, General Manager of ACMA’s Inputs to Industry Division.

The variation to the licence area plan includes a number of other changes to Perth radio services. The licence area of community radio service 6TCR Wanneroo has been extended to include all of the City of Wanneroo and the City of Joondalup . 6TCR has also been granted an increase in power to the north to enable it to provide coverage to all of the City of Wanneroo . There are amendments to the technical specifications for community radio services 6NR, 6RPH and 6YMS and commercial radio service 6PR to reflect transmitter site changes and power increases for the 6RPH and 6YMS services. ACMA has also withdrawn the availability of AM frequency 1170 kHz for an open narrowcasting service due to the possibility it may be required for digital radio.

ACMA’s decisions follows consideration of submissions received on a draft variation to the Perth radio licence area plan released in September 2004 and a revised draft variation released in December 2005. ACMA received over 1500 letters of support encouraging it to make an additional community radio service available in Perth .

ACMA will not be proceeding with the changes it had previously proposed to the technical specifications for the 6IX Wanneroo FM translator following submissions received on the revised draft variation to the licence area plan released in December 2005 and a subsequent field survey undertaken by ACMA.

The variation does not consider the future use of the FM frequency 100.9 MHz. The West Australian Aboriginal Media Association had been providing a community radio licence service on that frequency until October this year when ACMA cancelled its licence. ACMA will consider the future use of the frequency at a later time