Labor has outlined it’s commitment to community radio in an election campaign funding announcement today.
It comes as the CBAA begins its campaign to “Keep the Community in Radio” to restore digital radio transmission funding, to ensure that community radio is not trapped in an analog ghetto while other broadcasters go digital.
That campaign follows the announcement of cuts to community digital radio funding in the Federal Government’s recent budget.
Labor’s announcement also comes as Triple R plans to interrupt regular programming tomorrow celebrating the diversity and independence of community radio from 6am till midnight.
A joint statement from Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese and Jason Clare said:
Australian communities will continue to enjoy independent community digital radio, with a Shorten Labor Government committed to restoring much-needed funding to these services.
Community radio is the independent voice of our communities.
More than five million people have access to community radio, with a broad reach not only in our cities, but in rural and regional Australia.
Community radio makes a significant contribution to media diversity and local content, and plays a particularly significant role for Indigenous, print handicapped, ethnic and religious communities.
Unfortunately, Malcolm Turnbull’s approach to community radio is just another example of him saying one thing, and doing another.
As Minister for Communications, Malcom Turnbull said he supported community digital radio. In his first Budget as Prime Minister, he cut $5.6 million from it.
According to the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, 37 community digital radio services are facing closure altogether from 1 July 2016.
Labor knows these services are a valued part of Australian culture, and we will restore funding to ensure continued delivery of community digital radio services in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
This $5.6 million commitment over four years – $1.4 million per annum – will assist with digital platform and infrastructure costs including data connectivity, linking, multiplexing and transmission.
Labor introduced digital radio in Australia and we have a strong track record of supporting community broadcasting.
Independent radio voices should not disappear from our communities – Labor’s support will make sure community broadcasting continues to thrive.