North West FM will continue to remain on air despite a dispute with the Hume City Council over a new antenna site.
The community station on the outskirts of Melbourne feared it may go off air if its new transmission tower was pulled down from the top of Council’s Admin building.
However, the Hume Council has responded to radioinfo’s request for more info about the North West FM transmitter dispute, saying any decision by Council will not impact on the radio station staying on-air from its existing site, on the Broadmeadow’s Town Hall. The station, however, is not happy with the coverage from that site.
Domenic Isola, CEO, Hume City Council says the council has “supported North West FM for the past 10 years, enabling this radio station to broadcast from an antenna on top of the Broadmeadows Town Hall.”
The Council says for the ten years it has paid all electricity bills relating to the antenna.
“Hume City Council initiated discussions with North West FM in October 2014, to relocate a new and separate antenna which is located on top of Council’s administration building.
“Council has made this decision in the best interests of the entire community.”
• This new antenna has remained switched off since it was discovered that its operation caused a major failure of Council’s telecommunications and information technology systems.
• This new antenna interrupted vital services to the community and cost Council more than $10,000 to rectify.
• While Council initially agreed to install this new antenna, North West FM subsequently decided it wanted to double the antenna’s wattage output.
• Technicians that Council engages have advised that they won’t go on the roof of our administration building while the radio station’s new antenna is switched on.
• While we were under no obligation to assist, Council has sourced two different sites for this new antenna, both of which offer the radio station better coverage, and do not impact on Council’s essential telecommunications and services.
• For almost one year, Hume has attempted to contact this Moreland-based station to discuss these alternative sites, but Council has had very little response.
• Council does not understand why North West FM has resisted our efforts to assist the station to relocate the new antenna to an even better site.
• We will continue to encourage the radio station to consider alternative sites for their new antenna.
radioinfo wishes both parties good luck settling the dispute in the best interests of listeners and the community. We will bring you further updates on this story when they are available.