Southern Community Media Association (SCMA) member UG FM, Alexandra, has become the first Community Broadcaster in Australia to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in regard to Emergency Broadcasting.
UGFM and the Victorian Office of Emergency Services Commissioner formalized the MOU at studio complex of UGFM in Alexandra. UG FM played a vital role in Emergency Broadcasting during the Black Saturday fires and continues to broadcast recovery information to its area.
The President of the Southern Community Media Association Helen Bath said, “It is gratifying to see all the work of the past five years come to fruition. The SCMA has had an ongoing commitment to the formalization of community broadcasters role in Emergency Broadcasting for a long time now and we have done all we could to support our members to achieve Emergency Broadcasting Status”
CEO of the SCMA Ray Hazen congratulated the team at UG FM and in particular Peter Weeks on this achievement. “Today is a proud day for all community broadcasters. Peter has been part of the SCMA’s emergency broadcasting committee that has worked hard to ensure that community broadcasters role in Emergency Broadcasting was formalized.”
UG FM is the first the first of many more community stations in the system who will be accredited in the coming weeks as part of a push to ensure that people are better informed in times of emergency.
Bruce Esplin, Emergency Services Commissioner said, “It’s a fantastic outcome to have community broadcasters now being officially recognised by the State as official emergency broadcasters. Community broadcasters can play a vital role in that they can target messages direct to local communities and reach some areas of Victoria where there is no access to commercial or other radio broadcasts.”
Ray Hazen went on to say, “It is vital that we as an organisation remain at the ready to assist all community broadcasters in times of emergency. It isn’t about ego it is about getting the message out in a quick and concise manner and ensuring that listeners are as well informed as possible about the situation at hand.”