Disappointing: Federal Government cuts to community broadcasting

The community broadcasting sector has recieved bad news today to learn $2.5 million in federal funds for community based transmitting services has been cut by the new Government. The cuts affect community radio and television transmission services.

Cut in yesterday’s Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the funding was initially allocated in May 2013 to help communities in regional and remote Australia switch to the Viewer Access Satellite Television service at the end of 2013.

Community broadcasting comprised a small part of the original funding allocated, with the sector likely to have received approximately $150,000 from the scheme.

The funding was to allow community broadcasters, groups and councils to upgrade radio transmission equipment to retransmit the VAST service and create opportunities to access a range of new and digital-only radio services. Many stations, groups and councils had already upgraded equipment to meet this deadline.

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia General Manager Jon Bisset said the cut was “disappointing” but is likely to have minimal impact on the sector: “The CBAA is working with the Community Broadcasting Foundation to reduce the financial impact on the sector and will soon meet with the Minister for Communication’s office to reiterate the value of community broadcasting.”

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