‘Broad opposition to the CBF changes’ says NEMBC

The dispute between the NEMBC and the CBF about the funding body’s new directions continues.

The National Ethnic Broadcasters Council has examined submissions and concluded that “there is broad opposition to the CBF changes.”

The last round of consultation was the only time that the submissions were open and transparent according to the NEMBC’s President Tangi Steen, so the council has used information from the submissions to support its view that the impending changes are not supported by stations.

Ethnic community broadcasting receives almost $4 million annually and is the stakeholder with potentially the most to lose from the CBF changes if current funding arrangements are altered.

“This process has been questionable especially when the open round, on the 18 December 2015, showed that almost half of the submissions strongly oppose the CBF going ahead…

“A significant number also raised serious concerns that the CBF should not have announced it will go ahead,” said Steen.

According to a range of views identified by the NEMBC in the public submissions, those opposing the CBF changes are not just Ethnic community broadcasters but are also Educational Licenses, Indigenous broadcasters and regional stations:


Deborah Welch, Manager Radio Adelaide and former CBF board member and CBAA President.
It was all about the CBF putting out a determined position and us being asked to respond. Responses would then go into a hole and no dialogue followed. This is not consultation, or bringing people with you. The assertion that the CBF would make all the decisions was consistently made, the option to consider different frameworks was not provided. A lot of wasted time and energy has been consumed because of the impact of this approach

2BOB Taree
With regard to the changes to Ethnic Broadcasting funding, we oppose them, as these changes will place a greater burden on us in the grant application process.

2GLF Liverpool
There appears to be no analysis or investigation into the impact these changes will make to the different type of business models station use. There is also very little detail on how the transition process will work and any guidance on the consultation process that will be in place when the actual grant guidelines are determined or published.

One FM Shepparton
We are not sure if the new interim guidelines which will require us to prove actual costs would provide the same incentive to start new programs.

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA), Michael Robertson, CAAMA Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Northern Indigenous Media Alliance
I would also note that there has been minimal consultation with the Indigenous broadcast sector, and certainly CAAMA has not been involved to any great extent in discussing the impact of the proposed changes to the CBF structure… The original objectives of CBF should be re-examined to re-track CBF back to its original ‘reason for being’- that being to administer and coordinate the allocation of funds provided to it by the Government.

 Melbourne Indigenous Station 3KND, Jim Remedio Station Manager and ex-CBF Board member
The community radio sector is made up of many nations and cultures. We allowed the CBF to receive and distribute our money on that basis. It’s our money, not the CBF’s money…..

A Submission from 4EB Brisbane explains why the hourly rate needs to be maintained, saying: “Essentially, the costs of producing a program and the ability to raise funds for a specific program irrespective of which city it is broadcast from should not be a factor when determining how much funding should be provided for a particular ethnic program. It should remain that each program has a weighted hourly rate as per the current grant allocation system for ethnic program grants… Community radio is about access and empowerment. A competitive funding model runs contrary to the purpose and underlying values of having community run media.”

The NEMBC says it will maintain its campaign against the CBF by asking all Ethnic community broadcasters and stations to boycott the CBF’s new model and ignore the call for nominations for any of the positions on the CBF board or committees.

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