Budget leaves Ethnic Community Broadcasting short on funding

Despite the NEMBC making a strong submission to the federal government recently, there has been no additional funding allocated for the ethnic and multicultural community broadcasting sector in the federal budget, released this week.

The ethnic community broadcasting sector says it has been denied almost $1 million funding since the Liberal government annual indexation freeze from 2013 to 2020.
CEO of the NEMBC Russell Anderson says: 

“Our sector will lose almost 1 million dollars during the ‘freeze’ period. One million is 20 % of our full funding support; currently at 3.9 million. There’s a lot of catch up to do especially considering stations which have increase costs and the roll out of digital has meant radio stations are now paying a digital fee for broadcasting.”
“While the government did give $12 million over the next four years the funding is not targeted for specialist programing such as ethnic community broadcasting. The additional funding is generalist funding for digital rollout, training with a strong focus on management and the support of a news service that will be in English.”
“The ethnic community broadcasting sector has increased fiscal pressures due to a new grant system that creates competition and spreads what little funds we have across other areas.”
“The NEMBC made a submission to the federal government and would like to see a commitment to specialist funding that recognises Ethnic and multicultural community broadcasting and the vital role it plays in strengthening social cohesion and citizenship within our diverse Australian community. It is highly cost-effective by harnessing the skills, expertise and time management of more than 4000 volunteers from 125 distinct cultural groups who create 2,000 hours of on-air content every week in over 110 languages broadcast via 100 radio stations.”
The NEMBC submission requested additional funding to enhance and improve investment in

  • Targeted Support for Refugee and New and Emerging Communities ($1.8 million),
  • Training and Skills Development for Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters ($350,000)
  • Development, Content and Production ($1 million)



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