150,000 Wireless Audio Devices Rendered Useless

There will soon be major changes to radio microphones and other wireless audio devices in Australia.  The Music Council of Australia is concerned these changes could have an adverse impact on music makers, community organisations and schools. You can read our statement and register your concern by signing a petition to the Australian Senate or writing a letter.

Who is affected?

An estimated 80% of equipment currently operating will be redundant after the changes. Users of wireless audio equipment include churches, schools, community groups, theatres, aerobics classes, and of course musicians.

What are the changes?

The government has sold broadcast spectrum that was (and still is) being used by wireless audio devices, to be used for mobile digital devices. This reportedly generated $2 billion in revenue. Some newer devices will not be affected, but an estimated 150,000 wireless audio devices are currently in use and will be affected by this.

Why is this a problem?

If you own a device that falls into the category that cannot be used after December 2014, you will own a redundant piece of equipment that may be in perfectly good working condition. The cost of replacing this device with a newer one falls to the consumer. The government has not articulated any plan to deal with the transition for consumers using wireless audio products.

Not only will these devices need to be replaced, it will be illegal to operate them and working electronic devices will be added to landfill.

What can be done about this?

To address this situation the MCA recommends that:
  • The Government fully compensate all owners of these devices through a buyback scheme or other similar arrangement
  • An effective public education campaign be undertaken so all user groups can be familiar with impacts of future changes and steps to be taken to minimise disruption and unreasonable cost.

Download MCA Statement: Impacts on the Music Sector of changes in legislation regarding use of Wireless Audio Equipment

What can I do?

- Sign the petition to the Australian Senate being organised by the Australian Wireless Audio Group
at: AWAG petition

- Share this page to spread the word.

- Write to the respective Communications spokespeople:

Labor: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Coalition: Malcolm Turnbull
Greens: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All can be reached through Parliamentary mail at: PO Box 6022 Canberra ACT 2600