Keep Community Radio

Government keeps the community in your radio

hfriedlander, 4th May 2017

The community broadcasting sector today welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to increase sector funding by $6.1m over two years. 

May 2017 Funding Announce - Jarrod Graetz Michael Sukkar Phillip Randall Mitch Fifield Jon BissetIn an interview on Melbourne community radio station 89.9 LightFM this morning, Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield announced additional targeted funding for digital radio ($1.9m in 2017/18 and $2m in 2018/19) and a further $2.2m focused on support for stations affected by the reorganisation of the 803-960 MHz radio frequency band.

The community radio sector recorded a record national listenership in 2017, with 5.3 million – or 1 in 4 – Australians tuning in each week. 450+ community radio services across the country provide a voice for those not adequately serviced by other broadcasters.

May 2017 Funding Announce - Mitch Fifield Announces Increased Funding for Community Radio

These stations contribute to public interest outcomes and media diversity, generate high levels of local and specialist content, and provide opportunities for participation in free-to-air media. 

Community Broadcasting Association of Australia CEO Jon Bisset says that this additional funding support will secure the sector’s involvement in digital broadcasting across this period.  

“For 40 years, Australian governments have been committed to community radio standing alongside commercial and national radio services on available free-to-air broadcast platforms. 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 confirmed that the CBAA will continue working with the Government to ensure the long term sustainability of community radio.

“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.”

KCR-4May-TweetThe provision of funding to support the large number of regional and metropolitan community radio stations directly affected by the reorganisation of the 803-960 MHz radio frequency band will assist in covering the hard costs associated with this transition and alleviate pressure on these community-owned, not-for-profit organisations. This support is especially critical for regional and rural community stations in maintaining essential infrastructure. 

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*Past webinar - click through to view webinar recording*

Implementation of new arrangements in the 800MHz band will take place between 2019 and 2024, with stations in the 849-852 MHz band needing to vacate the spectrum by 30 June 2019. But what does this mean? And how does your station go about this? Attend this session to get any and all of your questions answered.


Read CBAA CEO Jon Bisset's statement on this news from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture.


On 19 November, the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA), released decisions on its long-term strategy for the 803-960 MHz band.