The Audit Commissison has specifically identified the Community Broadcasting program as an area to be “abolished or merged.”
In Section 8 of the report the Audit Commisssion says: “The Commonwealth spent about $22 billion on around 500 grants programmes in 2012 13. The Commission recommends significant changes be made to the administration of the Commonwealth’s grant programmes.”
If the recommendation is accepted it will mean that every grant provided by the Community Broadcasting Foundation to stations, funding to Ethnic, Religious, and Radio for the Print Handicapped services, all national projects including the National Training Project, Community Media Training Organisation, Amrap, CBOnline, the Digital Radio Project, and the Community Radio Network, will be abolished.
This bombshell comes just as the CBF has commisssioned a review into its operations.
The Commonwealth Government already provides over $1 billion per annum to the operation of public broadcasters, says the report, meaning the ABC and SBS. It says “there is a limited rationale for the Commonweatlh to also subsidise community radio services. Continued Government funding of this area does not meet the report’s principles of good governance.”
The CBAA is “liaising directly with the Department of Communications and the Communication Minister’s office for clarification,” says a statement on the CBAA website.
The CBAA says it is “prepared to launch a national campaign to fight any moves towards abolishing the Community Broadcasting Program.”
Grant application photo from Shutterstock