Bureaucracy

Red Tape Binds Aussie Ham Radio Operators

The enthusiasts get the message

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WITH just a wire antenna, a slice of the airwaves and his own technical guile, Compton Allen is a one-man radio mogul.

He doesn't rely on the internet, or a mobile phone. From his home in Ryde, the amateur radio buff—call sign VK2HRX—can transmit messages to Parramatta or New York. Others contact the international space station, or even bounce signals off the moon.

But one source of earthbound interference impedes Mr Allen, and many of the state's 4300 licensed amateur radio users—the burden of council red tape.