Is Ham Radio in Australia on the Decline?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK7HH, Jun 21, 2021.

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  1. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My views are founded in what I hear and see when dealing with the regulators.

    They have gone from "supportive" through "barely tolerated" to "openly hostile" in the 25 years I have more closely followed the evolution.

    As I am writing this there is a struggle going on between the photovoltaic power industry and radio amateurs regarding interference issues. This may very well end up in the courts, if the regulators should side with the radio community.

    Already has the public opinion been fed suitably edited information through social media from the PV lobby stating that radio amateurs are standing in the way of "green energy".

    As the shift towards sustainable energy is quite heavily subsidised by the Governments a lot of money is flowing into the PV industry, as even small homes build PV installations. Many, if not most such installations create substantial radio interference, which often becomes reported by radio amateurs.

    Should the industry be forced to clean up their act on their own dime, they will fight this "tooth and nail" in the courts, and radio amateurs is likely to be blamed for bringing their shortcomings to the attention of the regulators.

    They may even try to turn public opinion against amateur radio, which would not be too difficult.

    In the light of this, and other nuisances caused by radio amateurs, it is a very "tall order" to actually expect the regulators to do anything that may increase the numbers of radio amateurs.

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
    M1WML, WB5THT and PU2OZT like this.
  2. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I imagine that your regulator is like ours, and the “original sin” so to speak is ironically with them for turning a blind eye for years and allowing noisy inverters to be common in PV installations. So then the PV industry could be facing a huge bill for fixing the installed base, not a small incremental cost for better units in new installations that could be passed on to customers. No wonder they are fighting it, if the above is true.

    Is there no interest on these RFI matters from the AM broadcast industry ( if you still have one) or the military?
     
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  3. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The AM industry is non-existent, and has been for at least 30 years.

    In the late 1990s, there was an attempt to sell off the MF broadcast spectrum for local commercial broadcasting, but there were no takers.

    Public safety and air traffic control communications, low-UHF cellular operators are now recognising the threat posed by PV installations and other RFI sources, together with the few commercial HF users and the military.
    But it also takes support behind the regulatory decisions from the political leadership, which up to now has been almost non-existent, to the dismay of radio users and the EMC community.

    A year ago, the Defence Research Agency and the agency responsible for EMC matters jointly presented an in-depth study about the RFI threats for the political leadership. It was largely ignored, as the subject is poorly understood and EMC measures are mostly seen as only wasting money.

    A few law-suits about denied planning permissions for PV installations near ATC or military communication installations are underway, and legal precedent will come out of these.

    Only by joining forces with other weak-signal users can amateur radio have a chance to survive in this. On our own, we are seen as completely irrelevant and just become "thrown to the wolves"...

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
    UT7UX, M1WML, WB5THT and 2 others like this.
  4. K9GLS

    K9GLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can the decline be attributed to cost of getting a license? I saw one post that was $60 to take a test, then a yearly renewal fee... I'm sure if the USA goes that route we will see a slow decline as well.
     
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  5. W4HM

    W4HM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Quality is better than quantity.:)
     
    NE2E, K0PV, UT7UX and 3 others like this.
  6. VK7HH

    VK7HH Ham Member QRZ Page

    LOL I do like this comment
     
    M1WML likes this.
  7. VK7HH

    VK7HH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Haha this is even better
     
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  8. VK7HH

    VK7HH Ham Member QRZ Page

    We've been lobbying for higher power levels for Advanced licensees for years... the regulator just doesn't want to come to the party.
     
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  9. VK7HH

    VK7HH Ham Member QRZ Page

    $60 would be a bargain! It's much higher than that
     
    M1WML likes this.
  10. K9GLS

    K9GLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well then that explains the decline.
     
    M1WML likes this.

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