New Murwillumbah Community Licence & Deepwater/Glen Innes Merger

The ABA has allocated a new community radio licence for the Murwillumbah licence area on the NSW far north coast. The successful applicant, North Coast Broadcasters Ltd (NCB), will provide a service on 101.3 FM.

The Authority received applications from NCB and Heartland Opry Group Inc (HOGI). NCB was proposing a country music and local sport service, while HOGI put forward a general community service format.

The ABA says NCB demonstrated a dedication to providing a comprehensive service targeting country music and sport, and the licence was made available after completion of the Murwillumbah radio licence area plan in December 2000.

The licence was allotted after community consultation during the licence area planning and allocation processes. The licence was advertised in May 2002, but the ABA did not receive any applications at that time.

The new licensee can be contacted via Michelle Smart, Secretary, North Coast Broadcasters Ltd, on 0438 079 867.

Meanwhile, in the NSW New England region, the ABA is proposing to amalgamate the licence areas of the Deepwater and Glen Innes community radio services.

This follows a request from Deepwater and Districts Community FM Radio (DCFM), the licensee of 2CBD Deepwater, to extend its licence area to include Glen Innes. The licensee has been operating a temporary service in Glen Innes since August 2002, largely providing a retransmission of its existing Deepwater service.

The ABA called for applications for the Glen Innes licence in March this year and DCFM was the only applicant. When considering whether to allocate this licence to DCFM, the Authority felt it would be better to merge the licence areas of the two services, making just one community radio service available in the region.

The proposal is contained in the draft variation to the Inverell radio licence area plan. Those wishing to comment on the proposal can do so by 20 August. The ABA is particularly interested in the views of residents and councils in the region. The draft variation plan and an explanatory paper are available from the ABA website or by calling 1 800 810 241.