The ACMA has decided to allocate Bankstown’s suburban community broadcasting licence to Bankstown-Auburn Community Radio Inc (BACR). BACR was one of four applicants for the licence, in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown. The others were: Consortium of Australian Media Services Inc (CAMS), Bankstown City Radio Cooperative Ltd (BCR) and Bankstown and Surrounding Areas Community Radio Inc (BSACR).
The Bankstown RA1 licence area comprises both the Auburn and Bankstown local government areas.
All four applicants proposed to represent the general community interest. The applicants were assessed against the Broadcasting Services Act which specifies that proposed services should meet the existing and perceived future needs of the community in the licence area. The Act also examines the capacity of the applicants to provide the proposed services.
The ACMA considered that BACR’s proposed service would best meet the existing and perceived future needs of the community. Of the four applicants, the ACMA also considered that BACR demonstrated the greatest capacity to provide the proposed service.
As there was more than one applicant, the relative merits of the applicants were also assessed. In 2007 the ACMA withdrew a long held broadcasting license from Bankstown City Radio because they were judged not to be representing the community interest, and, since that time, all four applicants have been sharing air time on the 100.9 FM frequency while the licence reallocation process progressed.
The last temporary broadcast will end on 1 October, when BACR will take up the frequency full time.
ACMA expects the successful applicant “to encourage members of the unsuccessful applicants to be involved in the operations and programming of its service.”
CAMS spokesperson Joseph Safi told radioinfo recently, “Flame FM is holding high hopes that they will be granted the license in the interests of the public and the broadcasting industry in the area.” The group’s hopes have not been realised.