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Impact of community broadcasters recognised in Australia’s new cultural policy

Reece Kinnane, 30th January 2023

Impact of community broadcasters recognised in Australia’s new cultural policy

The community broadcasting sector has today welcomed the launch of a new national cultural policyRevive: a place for every story, a story for every place.

The policy recognises the important role of community broadcasting and acknowledges the need for Government action to “increase support for community broadcasting to deliver local news, tell local stories, and provide a platform for diverse voices and Australian music.”

The policy also highlights the work of First Nations broadcasters in supporting and strengthening First Nations languages and connections to culture in communities across Australia.

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) strongly supports the new National Cultural Policy and welcomes the formation of Creative Australia – the Government’s new principal arts investment and advisory body.

The CBAA also welcomes the creation of Music Australia – a new body dedicated to investing in homegrown music.

Recognition of and investment in local music is of particular importance to community broadcasters and their listeners. Over 5 million people aged 15+ tune in to community radio each week, with up to 33% tuning in to hear Australian music and local artists, and 35% in to hear music not available on other stations.[1]

“Community radio is the springboard that jumps artists from their garages to the charts,” said CBAA’s CEO Jon Bisset.

“Gotye, Baker Boy, Courtney Barnett and thousands of other Australian musicians had their first airplay on community radio, found their audience and went on to find global success.”

The CBAA also applauds the decision to make the first pillar of the policy “First Nations First”, a decision which acknowledges First Nations stories at the centre of arts and culture in Australia.

“First Nations media organisations are essential champions of First Nations music, stories and culture. They nurture and support First Nations artists and are a conduit for the production and a promotion of their work,” said CBAA CEO Jon Bisset.

There are 230 First Nations radio broadcast sites coordinated by 35 community-owned not-for-profits. They provide access to First Nations arts and culture to around 320,000 First Nations people, including around 100,000 very hard to reach people in remote Indigenous communities, or nearly 50% of the First Nations population.[2]

“Community radio connects artists with their audiences. It provides a platform for great art to be discovered, great music to be heard and great stories told to help us grow and learn as individuals and as a community.”


Contact: Reece Kinnane, CBAA’s Head of Communications and Advocacy on 0420 525 526 or email [email protected]


[1] Community Radio Listeners Survey (July 2022)

[2] Above and Beyond Broadcasting: A Study of First Nations media and the COVID-19 pandemic (2022)

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The CBAA has made a submission to the consultation on a new National Cultural Policy. The CBAA emphasised the unique and transformative role played by community broadcasters in supporting creative and cultural industries to find an audience and build a platform for growth. We highlighted the incredible work that stations are doing to champion local arts and artists. We called for the new policy to recognise community broadcasting as an integral part of the arts and culture ecosystem in Australia.


Last night’s Federal Budget has been disappointing for community broadcasters. The Budget for community broadcasters has been maintained – in line with the status quo – but it has failed to deliver the sustainable funding base required for community broadcasting to meet current demands and address the growing needs of our communities. 


The community broadcasting sector has welcomed the first budget from the Albanese Government tonight.

The Budget handed down by the Treasurer has provided much needed funding certainty for community broadcasting with $88 million allocated over the next four years.