No new community licences for Cowra and Latrobe Valley

The ABA has decided not to proceed with the allocation of Community Licences in Cowra and Latrobe Valley.

The ABA will not allocate a community radio licence for Cowra because no applications were received by the closing date of 5 September.

The aspirant community broadcaster in the area, Cowra Community Information and Neighbourhood Centre, advised the ABA that it was not in a position at this current time to apply for the permanent licence. It will continue broadcasting under temporary community broadcasting licences on 97.5 FM.

The ABA has also decided not to allocate a community radio licence in the Latrobe Valley at this time and will review this decision in 12 months.

Two groups applied, Gippsland Christian Broadcasters Inc (Life FM) and Gunai Media Aboriginal Corporation (Gunai). Life FM claims to serve the Christian community of the Latrobe licence area while Gunai claims to represent the Aboriginal population in the licence area.

Acting ABA Chair Lyn Maddock said: “The ABA finds that neither of the applicants were able to satisfy the ABA that they could provide a broadcasting service that would meet the needs of their claimed community of interest… During the intervening period the ABA encourages both groups to operate temporary services to develop their capacity.”

Both groups will be able to broadcast under temporary community broadcasting licences, sharing the one frequency until the decision is reviewed.