The 2014 Commission of Audit recommended that funding for the Community Broadcasting Program be scrapped.
Thankfully, on 13 May 2014, community broadcasting was spared, after the Federal Budget revealed the Government will continue funding vital community broadcasting programs. This followed a large scale Commit To Community Radio campaign during Budget week to urge for continued government support of community broadcasting. Read the victory announcement here.
What is community broadcasting?
Community radio brings heart and soul to Australian broadcasting.
Community radio is not-for-profit, community operated and controlled, and promotes an inclusive, cohesive and culturally diverse community. It offers an enormous diversity of content and information presented by people in their local communities, and is characterised by localism and independence.
There are 380 licenced community radio and television stations in Australia, with over 22,000 volunteers engaged in producing and presenting programs. Content produced is overwhelmingly local, with 34 per cent of all community radio stations are sole providers of local programming in their area.
29 per cent of all Australian radio listeners, 5.2 million, tune into community radio stations each week. Community television has a monthly metropolitan reach of 3.7 million viewers.
Community broadcasting plays a vital role in providing a voice for communities that aren’t adequately serviced by other broadcasting sectors including:
- Indigenous Australians
- Ethnic communities
- Educational services
- Religious communities
- Reading services for print disabled communities
- Music and arts and cultural services
- Youth and seniors communities
Community broadcasting services provide a diverse range of viewpoints that enrich the social and cultural fabric of Australian society and contribute to public interest outcomes.
They promote the identities of local communities, contribute to social inclusion, and provide opportunities for participation in free-to-air public broadcasting and content production.