MARITIME
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AUSTRALIA

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Sydney Radio VIS POS

1912 - 2002

In 1905 the Federal Government of Australia introduced the Wireless Telegraphy Act giving the Government complete control over wireless activity and the Postmaster General the exclusive right to transmit and receive messages nu wireless and to issue wireless licences.

In 1909 the Federal Government, through the Postmaster General’s Department, committed £10,000 to establishing two coastal wireless stations in Australia. On 21st October 1909 tenders were called for the construction of these two wireless stations, one to be in Perth and the other in Sydney. In December of the same year an Imperial Press Conference was held in Melbourne which discussed the future of wireless communications in Australia and the Pacific and the proposal to establish a chain of coastal radio stations.

In the April of 1910 the Australian Federal Government announced the successful contractors for the two wireless stations as Australasian Wireless Limited who were an agent for the German company Telefunken. That same year the Postmaster General appointed the first Engineer for Radio Telegraphy in Australia.

On 19th August 1912 Sydney Radio, located at Pennant Hills, was officially opened with the callsign POS (Post Office Sydney - later changed to VIS) under the control the the Postmaster General's Department.

Following on, on 30th September, the Applecross station opened as Perth Radio with the callsign POP (later changed to VIP).

Still in 1912, other smaller coast radio stations were established at Melbourne POM, Hobart POH, Brisbane POB, Adelaide POA, Thursday Island and Port Moresby. These were joined in 1913 by further stations in Darwin, Mount Gambier, Rockhampton, Cooktown, Townsville, Flinders Island, Wyndham, Broome, Roebourne, Geraldton and Esperance.

From 1912 the callsign prefix letter V was used in many Commonwealth countries as a commemoration of the recent death of Queen Victoria. Australia was allocated the prefix group VH to VK. Following an international wireless convention, which allocated prefixes on a world wide basis, the PO callsigns were changed to VI, giving Perth Radio it's VIP. In all, the Australian government established 22 coast stations, all with VI prefixes.

In 1914 WW1 broke our and between 1916 and 1920 the Royal Australian Navy tooks control of all Australian coast radio stations and all wireless telegraphy in Australia. During this time the Navy installed a new 60 kiloWatt Poulsen arc transmitter and valve operated receivers.

In 1920 control of the radio stations reverted back to the Postmaster General but in 1922 control of the station was transferred to Amalgamated Wireless of Australasia Limited (formerly Australasian Wireless Limited).

Between 1939 and 1945, as a result of the outbreak of WW2, the Royal Australian Navy again took over control of all coast radio stations in the country.

After the cessation of WW2 a review took place of the Imperial Communications System which resulted, in 1946, in the formation of the Overseas Telecommunications Commission. In 1947 this new body took over control of Perth Radio and other wireless stations from the Postmaster General.

Services from Sydney Radio VIS ceased on 30th June 2002 along with all the other Australian coast radio stations.

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