Legal and Regulatory Overview

The commercial radio industry is subject to multi-tiered regulation.

All commercial radio stations operate under the authority of licences issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (“ACMA”). Ownership and use of those licences is also subject to a number of different legislative instruments as well as the general law.

A tiered approach is used to regulate commercial radio programs. Part of this regulation is in the form of licence conditions found in the principal legislation -  the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (“BSA”).

Under a co-regulatory scheme established under the BSA, the commercial radio industry and the ACMA has also developed the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice (“Codes”) which are registered with the ACMA and address areas that are not covered by Licence Conditions.


 The Regulator

  • The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) was established in 2005 and constitutes a merger of two regulatory bodies, the Australian Broadcast Authority and the Australian Communications Authority.
  • The ACMA is an independent statutory body and the main regulatory authority of the commercial radio sector.
  • The ACMA is responsible for regulating broadcasting, telecommunications, radio-communications and online content.
  • The powers of the ACMA as provided under the BSA are broad and include the power to implement government policy through regulation and administrative decisions.


For more information, please contact Sarah Kruger (Head of Legal & Regulatory Affairs) at or 02 9281 6577.