Radio stations should be exempt from any impending lockdowns

Staff Writer

“It is vital that provisions are made for radio station staff, including on-air presenters, journalists and technical teams to be exempt from any lockdowns or travel restrictions.”

That’s the message from Commercial Radio Australia today as authorities meet to discuss further possible restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

CRA has called on federal, state and territory leaders to ensure radio broadcast operations and its staff are exempt from any drastic lockdowns.

Chief executive Joan Warner said that CRA has contacted the office of the Prime Minister, communications minister, premiers and chief ministers today.

“We want to remind Premiers and Chief Ministers, as they consider urgent state and territory lockdown provisions, that the business of radio should be deemed essential and must go on.

“Radio station staff may need to attend various broadcast facilities and locations, including across state borders, to ensure services remain on air.

“Nearly 80% of Australians listen to commercial radio and we are committed to continuing to provide a trusted communications channel for Australians through our live broadcasts and working closely with Federal and State/Territory governments to keep Australians fully informed through this crisis.”

Both the Government and state leaders are looking at tougher restrictions as Australia’s COVID-19 death toll rises to 13.

NSW and Victorian leaders are foreshadowing further moves, potentially including a full lockdown, if the increase in new cases doesn’t slow. The ACT said it will follow NSW.

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