Turnbull Government to offer more than $6m to community radio sector in Tuesday’s Budget

The Turnbull Government has announced it will give an additional $6.1m over the next two years to support digital and one-off re-organisation costs for analogue services in the community radio sector.

Announced as part of the Federal Government’s 2017-2018 Budget, the new funding is in addition to the current $15m provided to the sector through the Community Broadcasting Program.

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In the 2017-2018 period, $1.9m will be dedicated to the costs of digital radio broadcasting in the community radio sector, with planned expansion for digital services in Hobart, Canberra, Darwin and the Gold Coast.

An additional $2m will be given to the sector in 2018-2019 period.

The Government will allocate the rest of the funding in 2017-2018 as a one off investment to help community radio broadcasters affected by the Australian Communication and Media Authority’s long term strategy for the 803-960MHz band.

It will ensure the stations continue to delivery of community radio services to audiences.

Community Broadcasting Association of Australia CEO Jon Bisset said the additional funding support will secure the sector’s involvement in digital broadcasting over the next two years.

This increased funding supports community digital radio services over the next two years. We want to take this opportunity to thank all of those involved in helping us keep the community in your radio,” Bisset said.

Bisset said the CBAA will continue to work with the Government to ensure community radio continues to be sustainable.

“The additional funding for digital radio comes at a critical period for the sector and will assist to maintain metropolitan digital radio services and the planned extension of digital radio to Canberra, Darwin and Hobart.

“The sector will need this increased level of funding on an ongoing basis to support regional expansion of digital radio and we appreciate the Government’s commitment to supporting these next steps. Community services are an essential part of the mix of broadcast services available to Australian communities,” he said.

The Government hopes the funding will continue development of content, training for workers, transmission infrastructure, online services and broadcasting of Australian music, as well as content for Indigenous and ethnic channels and for Australians with print disability.


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