CRA calls for free and easy access to Australian radio


Industry body Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA) has called for immediate action to ensure free, easy and reliable access to Australian radio on smart devices like speakers and cars.

In a submission to the Senate inquiry on the Prominence and Anti-siphoning Bill (which is aimed at ensuring easy free-to-air television access on smart TVs), CRA said the Bill needs to include radio.

CRA Chief Executive Officer Ford Ennals says “It is essential to both the radio industry and Australian communities that there is always free, easy, and universal access to Australian radio on smart speakers and in cars.”

“If Australians cannot easily access local radio during emergencies such as bushfires, storms, floods, or traffic incidents, it can be an issue of community safety.”

CRA is asking for regulations to be introduced immediately for smart speakers, which could be applied to connected cars and other devices in the future.

“Our concern is if this Bill passes without any inclusion of radio, then the window of opportunity for this important reform would be lost,” says Mr Ennals.

“All Australians need easy access to local radio, whether they are using a smart speaker or driving a connected car.”

CRA’s submission on the Communications Legislation Amendment can be viewed here.

Comment Form

Your email address will not be published.

Recent comments (3)
Post new comment
Darren Moss
12 Feb 2024 - 9:45 am

The challenge for regionals is redundancy. Most run on a single transmission site, with no failover or secondary site.

In an emergency engineers have many potential points of failure including site maintenance being up to date, generator starting and continuing to run, site access for re-fuel and maintenance… and of course equipment not being burnt or flooded.

Regional services should be colocated with shared infrastructure for both primary and secondary sites, allowing reach and redundancy whilst sharing costs.

Help the people or the industry dies
12 Feb 2024 - 11:16 am

Bummer that CRA is calling for that and not for better wages that the industry has been begging for for years.

12 Feb 2024 - 1:26 pm

Nobody is using a smart speaker to access the radio in the event of an emergency. Let’s be real.

4G and 5G are usually jammed and you’re unlikely to be in a static location with a reliable fibre connection because if it’s flooding the pits are full of water and if it’s burning down you’re probably accessing information using traditional means, usually AM because the interference of the weather would block DAB+ signals.

How about we advocate for better pay, better locally produced content, and psychologically safe environments within the industry?


See all