Australia music content regulation timeline – radio

  • Wireless Telegraphy Act 1905 — federal government becomes responsible for broadcasting.
  • Federal government nationalizes transmission facilities and contracts programming to the Australian Broadcasting Company, a company nationalized under the Australian Broadcasting Commission Act 1932. A two tiered broadcasting system was finalized the same year — the ABC with 12 stations and the commercial sector with 43.
  • Content regulation introduced in the Broadcasting Act 1942 in respect of commercial radio — a 2.5 per cent quota for Australian-composed music.
  • In 1956, the music quota is increased to five per cent.
  • In 1973, an auxiliary ten per cent quota for Australian-performed music is introduced.
  • Australian-performed music quota increased to 20 per cent in 1976.
  • In 1987, compliance period changed from 24 hours a day to hours between 600 am and midnight.
  • The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 makes local content quotas part of a self-regulatory code for commercial and community broadcasters.
  • In 2004, the AUSFTA caps music quotas on radio at 25 per cent.
  • In 2010, the Australian Communications and Media Authority waived Australian content quotas for three years in respect of digital-only radio services
  • Today, Australian music quotas are capped at 25 per cent and have regard to the predominant music format of the station.
  • The future of quotas for Australian music on radio and radio-like services is being considered by the Convergence Review Committee which will report to the federal government in March this year.


Lynn Gailey. 20 March 2012.

Lynn Gailey was the Music Council's research manager up to 2012.

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