Better Protection Proposed For Radio Astronomy Services In The Mid West 'radio Quiet Zone'

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8th October 2010, 04:00pm - Views: 888

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ACMA Media


121 /2010

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October 2010

Better protection proposed for radio astronomy

services in the Mid West ‘Radio Quiet Zone’

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has released a public

discussion paper canvassing regulatory measures to provide enhanced protection

for the Mid West Radio Quiet Zone (the RQZ) located in remote Western Australia

and to further support Australia’s bid for hosting the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

‘Providing enhanced measures to protect the RQZ will assist the Commonwealth in

providing the best RQZ in the world, thus making it an irresistible site for future radio

astronomy instruments including the international $2.5 billion SKA project,’ said

ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

Radio astronomy uses highly sensitive equipment particularly susceptible to

unwanted radiocommunications signals. The RQZ was established in 2005 and

aims to maintain the current ‘radio-quietness’ of a site in remote Western Australia

(near Boolardy Station, around 200 km east of Meekatharra).

‘The discussion paper canvasses additional measures which would provide

legislative protection to the site in this remote region of Australia for the first time,’

Mr Chapman said. 

‘They have the potential to offer greater long-term certainty to the operators of key

radiocommunications facilities, but don’t require significant changes to the existing

technical parameters of the RQZ.

‘Rather, the proposals are primarily designed to upgrade the status of existing

regulatory measures from administrative status to subordinate legislation.’

Australia-New Zealand and South Africa have been shortlisted as two possible

locations to host the SKA. An international consortium is expected to make the final

decision in 2012.

A copy of the public discussion paper is available on the ACMA website.

The closing date for submissions is 5:00 pm, Friday, 19 November 2010.

Submissions received after this date may not be considered in the ACMA’s

decision-making process.

Please direct any queries about the issues in the discussion paper or the

consultation process to

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Donald

Robertson, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980, 0418 86 1766 or

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ACMA Media Release


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