The release of a long-awaited economic report on the benefits of land mobile radio (LMR) use and spectrum requirements has put the Australian Radio Communications Industry Association (ARCIA) in the spotlight at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 26 November 2014.

Senator Ann Ruston hosted a function for the official launch of the report in front of Parliamentarians, industry representatives, and radio communications users. Senator Ruston had reviewed the report and expressed the common view that she had been unaware of the depth of use of radio communications and the inability of mobile telephone type operations to meet the present needs of users. 

Speaking of the importance of the information in the report, Senator Ruston introduced Hamish Duff, ARCIA President who gave the attendees an overview of ARCIA and our role in the industry.

Simon Molloy from Windsor Place Consulting gave an outline of how the project was completed and the major results that came out of the report.

Some stakeholders in the communications industry then spoke of the timeliness of the report and the support it offers to many groups:

Mark Burgess of the Police Federation of Australia spoke of the support ARCIA offers to the emergency services and the importance of the report. He specifically mentioned the immediacy of Press-to-talk communications and the fact that often a Police Officer is relying on the one-to-many format of radio communications to ensure that his change in situation is immediately known to all others operating close to him or as part of his support team. 

Robert Crawford, Chair of the National Coordinating Committee for Government Radio (NCCGR) spoke of the support that ARCIA offer to the Government radio groups and the industry in general, and pointed out how the economic report will be an added layer of the invaluable support that ARCIA offers. He indicated the report will go a long way in assisting the NCCGR members to provide the ACMA and Government of the benefits of LMR spectrum, as well as the ‘social benefit’ that is offered to the community by our Public Safety Agencies.

Martin McLeod, ARCIA Vice-President then gave an overview of the necessity of radio communications spectrum for operators of private commercial networks and many industry segments, in particular the resources sector. The facilities and benefits of digital two-way radio technology are opening up new opportunities for efficiency and productivity gains in many industries and the economic benefits of the economic research are very real in the commercial sector as well as the Government and Public safety arenas.

The Honourable Paul Fletcher MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications then spoke about the communication issues, the excellent contents of the report and how it will assist Government and the Regulator to evaluate the needs of the stakeholders in the allocation and justification for Land Mobile spectrum. He spoke of the unyielding demand for more spectrum and the many developments that are taking place, as well as recognising the existing needs of the incumbents, and then went on to outline the present review of management of the spectrum initiated by the Minister earlier this year (which ARCIA will be responding to on behalf of industry). In summing up, Mr Fletcher commended ARCIA for the initiative and indicated that having read the report he will be using the contents in several areas in advice to the Minister and others.

For more information contact Ian Miller, ARCIA Executive Officer at