On the eve of World Radio Day, Commercial Radio Australia has just finished hosting an event at Parliament House Canberra to focus political attention on the industry’s agenda for 2020 and the vital role of local radio in the community.
Triple M breakfast presenter Lawrence Mooney and Federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher (pictured right) addressed the event, which was attended by industry leaders, MPs and Senators.
Mooney, known for his comedy impersonations of former PM Malcolm Turnbull did a Turnbull impression, which got a good laugh from the room. He also poked fun at the Greens for electing a white male leader to replace a white male leader – “very progressive,” which got a laugh from Sarah Hanson-Young.
The Minister commended and congratulated radio for getting information out during the bushfires and keeping Australians safe. He also thanked Grant Broadcasters for helping out the ABC after their transmission tower was damaged in Batemans Bay.
CRA chairman, SCA’s Grant Blackley told those present that radio is still the world’s most widely consumed media:
“There are 261 commercial radio stations across Australia, including 220 in regional and remote communities, making radio the most live and local of all media.
“Well over 90% of Australians listen to radio every week, which means we have a critical role to play in entertaining audiences and disseminating information in an accurate and timely manner, particularly in times of crisis.
“Radio makes a substantial contribution to every region of Australia – through the support of hundreds of local community organisations and businesses. Radio connects and binds community like no other media.”
The industry is looking forward to working with political leaders on a number of strategic priorities, including increasing digital capability to deliver localised emergency information in response to threats posed by climate change.
The agenda for 2020 includes:
- ongoing investment in the development of smart digital audio experiences including integration with voice technology,
- the rollout of DAB+ digital radio to regional centres, and
- actively contributing to the Government’s overhaul of media regulation in the wake of the digital platforms report.
“Radio is one of the most overregulated industries. Removing red tape and outdated and unnecessary restrictions must be a priority for the industry and Government,” said Blackley at the gathering.
Other guests at the function included Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek, Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland and Environment Minister Sussan Ley.