Amrap staff depart CBAA offices, establish The Republic of Amrap

Assistant Editor

The Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap) will no longer operate under the management of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), announcing today that The Republic of Amrap has now been established.

In an email obtained by Radio TodayAmrap’s Chris Johnson gave a statement revealing that all six staff members have left the CBAA offices out of which they have operated for many years.

At this stage the Amrap team will establish the new Republic of Amrap on a volunteer basis using the personal resources of the Amrap team, as “It has become untenable to perform Amrap duties under the management of the CBAA.​

“All Amrap services remain operational, albeit run voluntarily by the Amrap team,” Johnson’s statement read.

“We would never compromise those services, and this campaign does not. This campaign safeguards and facilitates the development of those services. We cannot give you the same assurances under the CBAA’s restructure.”

According to the statement, the CBAA began to impliment a restructure in December 2017 that dissolved Amrap’s self-combined structure, a move that “benefits the CBAA at the direct expense of Amrap’s transparency, integrity and innovative future.”

“Employees (ie Amrap staff) should never have to ‘manage up’ their employers (the CBAA) or funding bodies (the Foundation) to ensure those organisations meet their responsibilities.

“This issue would never have surfaced if not for the brave, principled and capable staff working with me.

“We could have taken the jobs offered at the CBAA and let this issue slide.

“We refuse to take them, knowing it will lead to poorer results for Australian music and community broadcasters that support Australian artists.

“It was by no means a rash decision, but our experience – and the disturbing erosion of governance and management mechanisms – has led us to this campaign.

Radio Today has reached out to CBAA for comment.

The Republic of Amrap has thus been established “to protect this vital Australian music project from the CBAA’s conduct and their misguided restructure of Amrap.

The goal of the newly established Republic of Amrap is to motivate the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF) to cancel the Amrap management contract with the CBAA and place Amrap into caretaker mode.

It then hopes that a new governance and management structure can be establsihed for Amrap which includes expets both from within community radio and the wider music sector.

An independent radio plugger spoke to Radio Today about the importance of Amrap to the industry, under the condition of anonymity.

“Over the years, Amrap has become an important tool (and one of the best) available in this country when it comes to delivering independent music to community radio station presenters,” they said.

The source also suggested that many indie artists struggling to make ends meet would find it even harder to get their music delivered without Amrap’s AirIt service. Any other means would likely would require some sort of payment that most simply can’t afford.

“Amrap removes that issue with their supportive, Australian focused and driven initiatives and the wonderful staff deserve the utmost respect – and for everyone in the music industry to get behind them.  We cannot afford to lose them, not in the current climate of music in this land.”

The Republic of Amrap already has a new website live where an in-depth overview and timeline of events are located. Letters of support can be submitted.

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