NSW State Election 2015 community radio coverage

4 Things To Remember When You Cover the NSW State Election

CBAA Web Articles., 18th March 2015

With the NSW State Election just around the corner (28 March), here is a quick list of things to remember when broadcasting election advertising and political material during the election period.

1. Blackout period for Election advertising

  • The blackout period for the 2015 NSW State Election commences at midnight on Wednesday 25th March and ceases after the polls are closed on Saturday 28th March - broadcasting of political advertising must cease three days prior to the polling day.
  • The station can still broadcast news, statements, commentary or discussion during the entire election period.

2. Access for all Parties and Independent candidates 

  • Broadcasters must give reasonable opportunities for the broadcasting of election matter to all Parties and Independent candidates contesting the election.
  • However, it is up to the political parties as to whether they take advantage of this opportunity. One party choosing to ignore community radio does not preclude the access of others.

3. Tagging of Election sponsorship

  • Election sponsorship needs to be tagged like any other sponsorship announcement. eg. ‘This political announcement was sponsored and authorised by XXX party’
  • The particulars required to be broadcast about political matter are defined in Clause 1 of Schedule 2 to the Broadcasting Services Act as:
    • if the broadcasting was authorised by a political party:
      • the name of the political party;
      • the town, city or suburb in which the principal office of the political party is situated; and
      • the name of the natural person responsible for giving effect to the authorisation; and
    • if the broadcasting of the political matter was authorised by a person other than a political party:
      • the name of the person who authorised the broadcasting of the political matter; and
      • the town, city or suburb in which the person lives or, if the person is a corporation or association, in which the principal office is situated; and
      • the name of every speaker who, either in person or by means of a sound recording device, delivers an address or makes a statement that forms part of that matter.

4. Keeping record of broadcast political material

  • Be sure that all broadcast material is logged. 
  • The required period is the longer of six weeks from the date of the broadcast. The ACMA can direct a broadcaster (in writing) to keep records for a longer period. 
  • The ACMA is entitled to request audio logs/details of any political or current affairs material that is broadcast on your station. These records must be given to the ACMA if requested by written notice.

These requirements are set out in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. Please do not hesitate to contact the CBAA with any questions on 02 9310 2999 or check out the ACMA fact sheet and website for further details.


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The Broadcasting Services Act (1992) stipulates broadcast law regarding media coverage of local, state and federal elections. It is the responsibility of every community broadcaster to ensure that these laws are observed, as a condition of the station's licence.


The ACMA has made some minor changes to their Political and Election Matter Guidelines.