The following is from http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/communityradio/ You can read the whole article here. *Please note* this is relating to Community Radio (not radio in general)
The history of community radio
4ZZZ crew (Jim Beatson pictured front row left). Image courtesy of CBOnline.
Radio has been in Australia since the 1920s, but until the 1970s all radio stations were either commercial organisations or run by the Government.
In the 1960s, Australia's social, political and cultural landscape began to change and people wanted the Australian media, in turn, to reflect these changes. Many specialist groups, including ethnic and Indigenous communities, political activists, students, academics and classical music consumers, began to lobby for their own radio broadcasting licences. This community radio movement was an important force in the birth of community radio and remains a vibrant force in the Australian media today.
Community broadcasting licenses
In the 1970s, the Australian Government made a number of community broadcasting licences available, establishing what it called the 'third tier' of radio. This meant that now there was a third kind of radio station operating in Australia as well as the existing commercial and government-funded stations.
3CR in Armadale. Image courtesy of CBOnline.
5UV, or Radio Adelaide as it is now known, was Australia's first community station. It was established in 1972 and continues to broadcast today.
The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) was established in 1992 to deal with issues associated with radio and television. The ABA was responsible for issuing broadcasting licences until 1 July 2005, when the ABA and the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) merged to become the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
ACMA regulates the way Australian radio stations behave and decides who qualifies for the various kinds of broadcasting licences. For a radio station to qualify for a community licence it must address a perceived need within the community and it also must be a strictly non-profit organisation. Community radio licences are made available in different areas of Australia, depending on the needs of those areas as determined by ACMA.