CBAA slams Federal Budget

Staff Writer

The Community Radio Broadcasting Association of Australia has slammed the Governments Federal Budget saying that it risks shutting down community station’s digital services.

The Budget has failed to maintain funding for metropolitan community digital radio services in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth; a ‘hole’ of $1.4m.

CBAA CEO Jon Bisset has attacked the decision, particularly in the light of commercial broadcasters receiving a 25% reduction in license fees, saying:

“Potentially, it excludes community broadcasters from a digital broadcasting future and threatens the whole community broadcasting sector’s role as a key pillar in Australian broadcasting.”

“This unfortunate decision reflects the lack of value that the government places on these media services that contribute to public interest outcomes and media diversity, generate high levels of local and specialist content, and provide opportunities for participation in free-to-air media.”

“This is particularly concerning given the planned reforms to media ownership, which are likely to result in a less diverse media landscape and less opportunities for community participation.”

“Without community radio, the opportunities to share local stories and news and hear local voices will be incredibly limited, and so too will be the chance to build engaged, resilient and vibrant communities through fair and meaningful access to broadcast media.”

“For over 40 years, Australian Governments have been committed to community radio standing alongside commercial and national radio services on available free-to-air broadcast platforms. Today, with little explanation, we have seen a reversal of that position. “

“We have worked closely with the Government over the last six months to address this issue and ensure the future of the sector. We’re extremely disappointed and will be pursuing the issue further with the Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield.” 

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