Survival for 37 radio stations not likely without government support
The Federal Budget contains cuts of $1.4 million p.a. funding that currently keeps community radio stations broadcasting on DAB+ in 5 capital cities; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) has responded to the Federal Budget saying that it has failed to maintain funding for metropolitan community digital radio services and has "taken the community out of radio."
In its condemnation the CBAA stated, The loss of $1.4 million per annum puts all community digital radio services at risk. This comes at the same time as commercial broadcasters are set to benefit from a 25% reduction in licence fees.
Australia has one of the most developed and established community radio sectors in the world with a total of 444 radio stations in operation. In addition to independent revenue raising, community radio stations receive government funding through the Community Broadcasting Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit funding body for community broadcasting in Australia.
Digital DAB radio was launched in 2009 and 37 digital community radio stations are currently broadcasting in the metropolitan areas. According to CBAA community digital radio augments FM/AM radio broadcast and online streaming. In 2015 the Australian government decided not to close FM radio and set any date for a digital switchover for the broadcasting sector.
In order to put pressure on the winners of the upcoming elections CBAA has launched a petition campaign in order to get the funding restored. Please don’t leave community radio behind.