Renewing Your Community Broadcasting Licence

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If your station is a permanently licensed community broadcaster, you will have to complete a licence renewal every five years.

The ACMA will remind a station to renew their licence approximately 14 months prior to the expiry of that licence. The ACMA encourages the application to be submitted 12 months prior to the expiry of the licence. The earlier the better! This ensures enough time for review prior to the expiry date.

When a renewal application is received, the ACMA conducts an assessment against matters in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. It can take six months, to complete an assessment and it usually takes up to three months but may take longer if the ACMA asks for additional information. (More information on the community broadcasting licensing process is available here). 

ACMA Licence Renewal 101

To complete a permanent community radio licence renewal, you will need to complete the ACMA’s B66 form. A new form was released in October 2021.

To get an overview and information on the new form, check out this webinar hosted by the CBAA and the ACMA.

Some key things to note
  • Applications for the renewal of community radio broadcasting licences must ideally be made twelve months before the licence is due to expire. This means if your licence expires on 1 July 2023, the application form is due on 1 July 2022.
    • The legislation permits you to submit the application until 26 weeks prior to the licence expiring. However, it’s better if you submit it much earlier so the ACMA has enough time to review your licence and get back to you with any questions.
  • The form does not apply to remote indigenous broadcasting licencees or temporary community radio broadcasting licencees.
Tips for preparing and completing your application
  • Keep a folder on your computer called 'Licence Renewal' and continually save things there like your financial statements and AGM minutes. This will save you a lot of time during the application process.
  • Complete all questions. Any incomplete fields are likely to delay the assessment of your application.
  • Supporting documents should be labelled with reference to the relevant question. For example, a document in support of an answer to Question 10.A should be marked Response to Question 10.A.
  • Completed forms and documents should be scanned and emailed to communitybroadcasting@acma.gov.au
Download application form (B66) for licence renewal
Licence renewal checklist of documents all stations need to provide
  • A copy of your most recent weekly program schedule, showing the applicable dates (see question 9.A)
  • Current constitution or articles of association and certificate of registration (see question 10.A) - get resources
  • Diagram or description of the organisation structure, showing the board/management committee and committees/subcommittees, as well as staff and volunteer positions (see question 10.A)
  • Your most recent approved AGM minutes (see question 10.A) - get AGM resources
  • Membership application form, showing membership categories and schedule of membership fees (see question 10.A)
  • Your most recent audited financial statements or unaudited if not required to audit) (see question 10.A) - get Financial Management resources
You will need to indicate whether you have the following policies and where they can be easily accessed (see question 11.I-J)
Plan ahead! Five-year plan for an easy licence renewal

The licence period for permanent community radio licensees lasts for five years. Here are some tips to help you keep on top of the process, and help you plan ahead for your renewal.

Five years before expiry

1. Policies - Make sure you have the policies in the list above and make them publicly available. If you need help let us know.

2. Community engagement - Engage with your community to find out what they want from your radio station through regular activities like:

  • community surveys
  • outside broadcasts
  • focus groups
  • building and maintaining connections with other community organisations in the licence area
Two years before expiry

3. Save everything in one place - Make a folder on your computer called 'Licence Renewal' and continually save things that you will need for your application there, including:

  • your financial statements
  • your AGM minutes
  • a record of community engagement activities
  • copies of your policies
  • a list of proposals for new programs your station has received and notes on whether they were approved or broadcast.

This will save you a lot of time during the application process.

14 months before expiry

At or around 14 months is when you should get a notification from the ACMA informing you of when your licence renewal form is due.

4. Start your application - Start getting your application together. Read through the B66 form and understand what you need to do. Call the CBAA for assistance. Set up a fortnightly meeting to allocate tasks to key station workers and track your progress.

12 months before expiry

5. Submit your application - Submit your application on time so that the ACMA can follow up with you if further work is required. If you are struggling with your application, you should call the ACMA to ask for help, and the CBAA for assistance.

FAQs

Our station can’t find our last licence renewal application from five years ago. Can I ask ACMA to send me a copy of it?

The short answer is - not really. Privacy considerations mean that it is very difficult for ACMA to provide you with your previous application. It’s important to keep your records at your station in a manner that is easy for future managers and committee members to access.

Can we leave one staff member to complete our licence renewal application on their own?

It is best not to leave one individual to complete the application form on their own. It is your whole station’s responsibility to complete the licence renewal application. One person might be the lead person responsible, but a team makes light work!

When is the latest we should submit our licence renewal form?

Ideally twelve months prior to the expiry of your licence. The absolute latest you should submit your form is nine months prior to expiry. While you can submit up until 26 weeks prior to the licence expiry date, it is not recommended. You risk missing the deadline as it does not provide the ACMA with enough time to review the licence application and come back to you with questions. We strongly advise that you submit twelve months prior to the expiry of your licence.

Related resources for renewing a community broadcasting licence

A licence renewal is a great opportunity to review your station’s governance and ensure that your organisation is set up to deliver the best outcome for your community. Below are some additional resources to help you.