The Communications Law Centre UTS (CLC) closed at the end of 2015.
The CLC first began in 1988 as a company limited by guarantee and affiliated with the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The Centre was also associated with Victoria University (VU) from 1990.
After moving on from UNSW in 2005, the CLC remained at VU where it later became a research unit. The Centre then ceased its involvement with VU in 2008 and continued to operate as an umbrella organisation, before CLC was established as a Centre in the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2009.
During its twenty seven years of operation, the CLC was involved in numerous significant communications law reform issues. These included changes to media ownership policy (1996, 2002, 2004, 2006), the reform of broadcasting and spectrum management law (1992), the introduction of digital television following the 1998 Digital Conversion Act. The Centre also played an important role in the liberalisation of the Australian telecommunications industry (1989, 1991), which later resulted in open market competition, and in the improvement of telecommunications consumer safeguards. The CLC contributed to the passage of uniform defamation laws across Australia (2005), which resulted in the Defamation Act 2005.
In 1999-2000 the CLC played an important part in the Australian Broadcasting Authority's public enquiry into 'cash for comment' (the Commercial Radio Inquiry). Its complaints to the ABA prompted futher investigations in 2002-2003, and in 2009 it intervened in a court case about compliance with disclosure laws, Australian Communications and Media Authority v Radui 2UE .
The CLC made hundreds of submissions to government reviews and enquiries. Recently the CLC’s submission to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee of the Commonwealth Senate on the proposed Communications Legislation Amendment (SBS Advertising Flexibility and Other Measures) Bill 2015 was raised in the Senate Committee’s report. Special mention was made of the Centre's recommendations for strengthening the SBS's regulatory practices, including its Code of Practice and complaints procedure.
The CLC acknowledges the generous support of CLC Ltd, its supporters and donors, staff, volunteers, researchers, research associates in the faculties of Law and Arts and Social Sciences at UTS, legal and business professions, and the general public. Their dedication enabled the Centre to act as an independent organisation advocating for the legal, regulatory and social infrastructure that is necessary to develop an information society and knowledge economy.
UTS is currently working on a new strategy for communication studies, spanning the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. As UTS develops a new focus for its activities, the heritage of the CLC will be preserved. An online archive of CLC resources will be launched in 2016 and a small collection of hard copy reports and files on communications regulatory issues will remain accessible. Further information on accessing the CLC resources will be posted soon.