In Australia there are two CB bands in use – the HF or 27MHz band, sometimes referred to as AM or SSB CB. This CB band became well known following US movies such as “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Convoy”. The HF band in Australia uses the 40 channel allocation used in the USA and a number of other countries.
The other band is the UHF band, unique to Australia (and New Zealand) and very popular amongst business operators needing cheap radiocommunications.
Presented below are the legal channel allocations for the Australian CB bands. Generally accepted and legally recommended channel uses are also shown. It should be noted however that only those shown as legally allocated are actually supported by law. Other channels may be used for specific purposes in different localities.
477MHz UHF CB Band
You can download in PDF format the UHF CB Channel Allocations.
IMPORTANT! As of May 2011 the UHF CB band has been expanded to 80 channels.
|1||476.4250||Repeater output (band1)||41||476.4375||Repeater output (band 2)|
|2||476.4500||Repeater output (band1)||42||476.4625||Repeater output (band 2)|
|3||476.4750||Repeater output (band1)||43||476.4875||Repeater output (band 2)|
|4||476.5000||Repeater output (band1)||44||476.5125||Repeater output (band 2)|
|5||476.5250||Repeater output (band1)
|45||476.5375||Repeater output (band 2)|
|6||476.5500||Repeater output (band1)||46||476.5625||Repeater output (band 2)|
|7||476.5750||Repeater output (band1)||47||476.5875||Repeater output (band 2)|
|8||476.6000||Repeater output (band1)||48||476.6125||Repeater output (band 2)|
|9||476.6250||General use||49||476.6375||General use|
|10||476.6500||General use||50||476.6625||General use|
|11||476.6750||Call Channel*||51||476.6875||General use|
|12||476.7000||General use||52||476.7125||General use|
|13||476.7250||General use||53||476.7375||General use|
|14||476.7500||General use||54||476.7625||General use|
|15||476.7750||General use||55||476.7875||General use|
|16||476.8000||General use||56||476.8125||General use|
|17||476.8250||General use||57||476.8375||General use|
|18||476.8500||General use||58||476.8625||General use|
|19||476.8750||General use||59||476.8875||General use|
|20||476.9000||General use||60||476.9125||General use|
|21||476.9250||General use||61||476.9375||NOT USED3|
|22||476.9500||Data only (no voice)2 *||62||476.9625||NOT USED3|
|23||476.9750||Data only (no voice)2 *||63||476.9875||NOT USED3|
|24||477.0000||General use||64||477.0125||General use|
|25||477.0250||General use||65||477.0375||General use|
|26||477.0500||General use||66||477.0625||General use|
|27||477.0750||General use||67||477.0875||General use|
|28||477.1000||General use||68||477.1125||General use|
|29||477.1250||General use||69||477.1375||General use|
|30||477.1500||General use||70||477.1625||General use|
|31||477.1750||Repeater input (band1)||71||477.1875||Repeater input (band 2)|
|32||477.2000||Repeater input (band1)||72||477.2125||Repeater input (band 2)|
|33||477.2250||Repeater input (band1)||73||477.2375||Repeater input (band 2)|
|34||477.2500||Repeater input (band1)||74||477.2625||Repeater input (band 2)|
|35||477.2750||Repeater input (band1)
|75||477.2875||Repeater input (band 2)|
|36||477.3000||Repeater input (band1)||76||477.3125||Repeater input (band 2)|
|37||477.3250||Repeater input (band1)||77||477.3375||Repeater input (band 2)|
|38||477.3500||Repeater input (band1)||78||477.3625||Repeater input (band 2)|
|39||477.3750||General use||79||477.3875||General use|
|40||477.4000||Road Channel#||80||477.4125||General use|
* = Legally designated channel use.
# = Legally recommended channel use.
1 Channels 5 and 35 are allocated for EMERGENCY USE ONLY Australia wide. Channel 35 is used as the input channel for emergency repeaters, so transmissions on channel 35 can block an emergency channel many kilometres away.
2 Data channels are reserved for use by telemetry and telecommand systems only. Use of voice on these channels is illegal.
3 Channels 61, 62 and 63 are not released for use at this stage.
27MHz HF CB Band
|Chnl (40 & 23 chnl sets)||Chnl
(old 18 chnl sets)
|11||6||27.085||Call Channel – AM Mode*|
|–||7||27.095||Withdrawn from use by CB service|
|16||12||27.155||Call Channel – LSB Mode*|
|–||16||27.195||Withdrawn from use by the CB service|
|35||–||27.355||Generally accepted use – Long Distance LSB Call Channel|
* = Legally designated use.
# = Legally recommended use.
Although there is no legal designation for which general use channels can be used for AM or SSB, the generally accepted use is for AM mode between channels 1 and 14, and SSB modes from 15 to 40.
Legal allocation but no licence!
Many people believe that as there is no need for a licence to operate a CB there are no rules or laws to govern the use of CB. If this is what you think, you are WRONG! When CB was first legalised in Australia in 1977 every station had to have a licence. In fact, at first you needed a licence for EVERY CB you owned, at a cost of $25 each per year! Eventually this changed, and then in 1994 the government abandoned individual licences for CB stations opting instead for a Class Licence system. What is a Class Licence? Well, from the ACMA website:
“A class licence sets out the conditions under which any person is permitted to operate. It is not issued to an individual user, and does not involve licence fees or licence conditions applied to individuals.”.
What this basically means is that everyone is automatically covered by the Class Licence and no longer needed to obtain a licence for their CB sets.
When the Class Licence came in many CBers automatically thought that CB had been “deregulated”, meaning that there were no longer any laws or rules governing how CB could and couldn’t be used. But this wasn’t true, the laws remained very largely unchanged – emergency and call channels were still allocated, maximum power was still mandated, frequencies that could be used were still set – except now, instead of all this being a condition of the licence that each CBer use to get, it was part of the Class Licence that automatically covered everyone the moment they started using a CB.
What this meant is very simple – all of the conditions that existed before 1994 regarding channel uses, power output, interference, etc, remained in force and enforceable under the Class Licence and the Radiocommunications Act 1992, except for one important point that many people do not realise. Under the old system if you breached the rules – operated high power or chatted on the emergency channels, for example – you could be prosecuted for breaching the relevant section(s) of the licence, but under the Class Licence you could be prosecuted for operating WITHOUT A LICENCE! How? Very simply the Radiocommunications Act stipulates that where operation is under a Class Licence, if you operate outside of the provisions of that Class Licence, then you are no longer authorised to operate under the licence and hence, are operating without a licence.
(3) Operation of a radiocommunications device is not authorised by a class licence if it is not in accordance with the conditions of the licence.
Radiocommunications Act 1992,
This offence carries a maximum penalty for an individual of 2 years imprisonment.
46 Unlicensed operation of radiocommunications devices
(1) Subject to section 49, a person must not operate a radiocommunications device otherwise than as authorised by:
(a) a spectrum licence; or
(b) an apparatus licence; or
(c) a class licence.
(a) if the radiocommunications device is a radiocommunications transmitter:
(i) if the offender is an individual-imprisonment for 2 years; or
(ii) otherwise-1,500 penalty units; or
(b) if the radiocommunications device is not a radiocommunications transmitter-20 penalty units.
Our page on the Emergency Channels contains more details on this subject, including full details of the current penalties and extracts of the relevant legislation. Click here to go to that page.