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Community broadcasters call on the Federal Government to restore funding to Community Digital Radio

Alex White, 26th November 2012

The CBAA Annual National Conference held in Melbourne last weekend called on the Federal Government to restore funding to two critical national projects for the community broadcasting sector; The Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap) and the Digital Radio Project. 37 metropolitan‐wide community stations are currently operating digital radio services in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane with funding support for infrastructure costs from the Federal Government. 

In the May federal budget the Government committed a further $9.3m over the next 4 years to maintain the existing community digital radio services but this is approximately $1.4m short of the funding support required each year to support current services. The shortfall in funding to the CBAA Digital Radio Project is so severe that there will be no option but to reduce community digital radio services in 2013 unless the funding shortfall is addressed. 

Community digital radio in the mainland capital cities provides a highly diverse range of services including cultural and specialist talks programming, music, Indigenous, print handicapped, religious, ethnic and multicultural, youth, educational and community access services. Concerns about community broadcasters access to the digital radio platform ran high throughout the conference. 

At the final conference plenary Melbourne’s 3RRR moved a motion calling on the CBAA to coordinate an ongoing campaign for sufficient funding to maintain all existing community digital radio services. The motion was unanimously supported. McNair Ingenuity Research presented their latest findings from the National Listener Survey at the CBAA conference which indicated 25% of radio listeners are tuned in to community radio in an average week (over 4.4 million) and 12.3% are listening to community digital radio services each week. 

Further information on these issues and the Amrap project can be found on the CBAA website

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On Friday 14 June, Channel 10 news program The Project examined the Government's budgetary funding shortfall for community digital radio and the overall success of the 'Commit to Community Radio' campaign.


Community broadcasting national sector projects Amrap and the Digital Radio Project continue to struggle with funding issues.