Community Radio get vocal

Staff Writer

The community radio sector has come out swinging at news the government is considering slashing funding to the sector in the federal budget.

The Commission of Audit has recommended that funding to community stations be ended, at present this funding amounts to around $17m.

Fairfax's Deborah Gough has spoken with a number of Melbourne community radio station operators, with each expressing their concern.

3RRR station manager Dave Houchin said that without this funding 3RRR would be unlikely to survive; ''It is not overblowing it to say that it just looks like a long slow death for community radio to me''.

Adrain Basso, 3PBS station manager, said that around 70% of community stations were in regional areas and would be unable to continue without funding; ''Most stations are begged, borrowed and stolen to operate and the volunteers sustain them but there are costs to operate that many stations cannot bear by themselves"

''We (PBS) won't be turning off our analog signal but digital radio is growing. At the moment it would be hard to justify taking the money from our operational budget".

The national RPH network, which provides news for the vision and print handicapped, generates a quarter of its annual budget from the government. Vice President Hans Reimer said that were this funding to cease they would not be able to operate; ''At the end of the day we would probably shut all the doors".

The sector has a launched a campaign against the potential funding cuts, you can see the details here.

Original article in The Age here.

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