by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
Community radio safe – for now
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.”
This email went out last night, to 25,000 people who emailed the Treasurer on behalf of Community Radio, and we post it now as our thankyou for your emails of support.
“You did it.
Tonight, the Federal Budget was released and in there was the funding for community broadcasting.
The Commission of Audit recommended that funding for community radio and TV be scrapped, but thanks to the support of Commit to Community Radio supporters, the Federal Government didn’t listen.
It took thousands of emails – 25,000 in fact – to the Treasurer, but it’s been worth it. Our community radio and TV stations are safe, for now.
Thank you for everything you have done as part of the Commit to Community Radio campaign. It’s because of you that stations right across the country are breathing a big sigh of relief tonight.
If the funding was scrapped in tonight’s budget, community stations across the country could have been forced off the air. But the Federal Government has shown that, thanks to you, it understands how important community broadcasting is for media diversity and for communities across Australia.
Tonight, you helped save community radio.”
President, Community Broadcasting Association of Australia
and the Commit to Community Radio team