BUDGET: Community Radio Funding Shortfall
15 May 2013 at 10:32 am
Community radio services are facing an uncertain future after missing out on 40 per cent of its crucial funding in last night’s Federal Budget.
Community Broadcasting Association of Australia President Adrian Basso said the Government had jeopardised the future of community digital radio with its $1.4 million shortfall.
“This is a disappointing outcome for all the communities who rely on community radio to provide the information, opinion and music commercial stations and the national broadcasters can’t or don’t,” he said.
“We’ll now be consulting with all digital community radio services on their future.”
Basso said the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia would be pushing for ‘urgent talks’ with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to discuss the future of community radio.
Basso said a 40 per cent shortfall in annual operational funding meant tough decisions would have to be made which might leave some communities without community digital radio services.
“A quarter of Australian radio listeners turn to community radio stations every week for services that include specialist music, Indigenous media, multicultural and ethnic language programs, religious, educational and youth services, print disability reading services, and community access programs,” Basso said.
“Community radio stations are already investing significant time and money in developing new programming and services for their digital services.
“As Not for Profit organisations they provide valuable free-to-air digital broadcast services for the public.”
What the Government will provide is $5.4 million over five years to assist the production and transmission of community radio.
This includes funding of $2.7 million over four years to provide subsidised site access for 20 community radio services.
It will also include one?off funding to assist more than 1,000 self?help community radio retransmission sites to upgrade satellite reception equipment so they can continue to be rebroadcast on the Viewer Access Satellite Television service.
The Budget Papers can be downloaded at