2022-23 Federal Budget maintains sector funding at $20.5m

Frieda Lee, 30th March 2022

The Australian Government has maintained funding for community broadcasting at $20.5m which is our sector's critical baseline to support community radio stations and sector-wide projects.

$20.5m is the figure our sector needs to ensure community radio stations remain viable. It is a critical base that enables stations to leverage and grow other revenue streams. Commonwealth funding also provides support for essential sector-wide projects including community DAB+ digital radio, the Enhanced National News Project, the Multiplatform Distribution Project and the Enhanced National Training Package.

The CBAA is grateful for the Australian Government's ongoing support and continues to work with Government to increase our sector's funding to $25m. We will keep advocating for an additional $5m to address the $8-$11m shortfall in the amount of CBF Development & Operations funding allocated and the amount requested by stations. We know that additional support is still needed to reinvigorate income streams after COVID-19, cover the cost of upgrades to ageing technology infrastructure, increase local news reporting capacity, assist stations to recover from natural disasters and prepare them for emergency broadcasting.

We appreciate the statement of support for regional community broadcasting in the Regional Ministerial Budget Statement,

"Community radio supports communities in regional Australia by broadcasting local news, telling local stories, and providing a platform for local voices and music. The Australian Government is committed to supporting community broadcasting to continue to realise these benefits for Australian communities."

In 2022-23 our funding is due to drop down to $16.8m. Over the next 12 months, we will be working closely with Government to ensure that the needs of our sector are understood. Our position is that $20.5m is the critical baseline our sector needs to remain viable and an additional $5m - to bring our total funding to $25.5m - would help to provide stations with stability in their core operations and technology infrastructure, giving them a strong base from which to innovate and adapt to serve their communities.

Any questions, please direct them to the CBAA’s Head of Advocacy and Communications, Holly Friedlander Liddicoat on 02 9310 2999 or via [email protected]

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