Community radio safe – for now

May 13, 2014

Community broadcasting has been spared tonight, after the Federal Budget revealed the Government will continue funding vital community broadcasting programs.

Community radio and TV supporters from across the country launched a large scale campaign during the week in an attempt to safeguard community broadcasting from funding cuts, following the Commission of Audit’s recommendation that the funding be scrapped.

Community Broadcasting Association of Australia President Adrian Basso said the announcement is welcomed relief for the country’s 360+ community stations, 22,000 volunteers and 5.2 million listeners.

“This is a fantastic outcome for community radio and TV stations across the country. There are going to be millions of listeners and volunteers breathing a big sigh of relief tonight,” Mr Basso said.

“Community stations run on the smell of an oily rag – if the Government had cut funding tonight, as modest as the funding is, it could have spelt the end of many vital community radio services.

Mr Basso said it’s fantastic that the Federal Government has decided to continue a long tradition of bi-partisan support for community broadcasting.

“The Federal Government has tonight shown that it knows how important community radio and TV stations are for communities right across the country.

“We are hopeful that this means the Government is committed to supporting community broadcasting into the future. Community radio and TV stations deserve to know that they are secure not just in the short-term, but also in the longer term.

“For local communities, community broadcasting is vital. It plays a crucial role in providing a voice for communities that aren’t adequately serviced by other broadcasting sectors including Indigenous Australians, ethnic communities, the print and vision impaired, young people, seniors and Australian musicians across all genres.

“The community broadcasting sector is a smart investment: for every dollar the government puts in, the social outcome is huge. It’s great that the government has recognised that tonight.”

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