Jon Bisset

"It's been a great year for the CBAA!"

jbisset, 31st October 2018

First and foremost, it is an exciting time to be in community radio, not least due to record breaking national listening audience of 5.7 million listeners per week. 29% of people aged 15 years and over listen to the 450+ community radio services broadcasting local information and news shared by local voices, as well as specialist programming and lots of Australian music.

I'm proud to lead the CBAA and this year we have continued to champion community radio through our work in three key areas – building station capability and sustainability, nurturing a supportive community broadcasting environment and strengthening the CBAA’s capacity to provide sector leadership. In doing so, we support, and are supported by, over 300 community radio station members, including new members West TV, Pines FM, 5EBi and 4RPH. We are about to tick over representing 90% of all permanently licensed community broadcasters, our highest level of membership ever.

The CBAA’s staff is in regular contact with stations and other sector stakeholders and always looking for opportunities to improve our services to them and the sector as a whole. We ask for feedback in an annual member survey and recent results reflect the efforts the CBAA has made to be the ‘go-to’ organisation representing the interests of the community broadcasting sector. Members indicated that they are most satisfied with the CBAA’s work in recognising and celebrating community broadcasting, providing advice, information and resources, and influencing public policy. An extremely high Net Promoter Score of 56 indicates that our members are very happy to recommend the CBAA to others.

We also listen to stations sharing their challenges – on the phone, via email, face to face at station visits and events, and through groups like the Community Broadcasting Sector Roundtable. From these, we look at how we can help overcome them.

For the CBAA this year was full of highlights:

  • We continue to give the growing number of subscriber stations access to listener data through our National Listener Survey and Station Community Engagement Survey which can be used in community engagement, sponsorship sales and in the ACMA licence renewal process.
  • The CBAA has brought $12 million in extra government funding to the community radio sector through our successful sector leadership efforts. This funding is in addition to $6 million brought in earlier in 2017 and is targeted to support community digital radio, enhanced news and streaming services, and enhanced training.
  • We launched the Community Radio Station Health Check, a free service to assist stations in building best practice governance.
  • We provided access to hundreds of resources in our online Resource Library, which has seen a 70% growth in traffic over the last year.
  • The CBAA continues to provide information and coordination to stations in Canberra, Darwin and Hobart, the first locations targeted for the roll out of DAB+ beyond the existing services in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.
  • Supporting more Australian artists to add their music to the CBAA's Amrap AirIt service for distribution to community broadcasters. This included more than 1,500 new artists as well as 1,000 previously approved artists. There was also a 13% increase in the number of music files ordered for airplay, up to 126,634.
  • We've continued giving subscribing stations access to some of the sector’s best program content through the Community Radio Network, including 118 regular programs and over 50 specials.

If you'd like to read more, the 2017/18 CBAA Annual Review and Annual Financial Reports are now available.

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The Community Radio Listener Survey is launched and shows that 31% of all radio listeners in Australia tune in to community radio.


We are pleased to present the CBAA's latest Annual Review and share some highlights from the 2015/16 year.


In 2014, the CBAA undertook its inaugural member survey to take a measure of member opinion and establish a benchmark for future comparisons. The results of the survey have provided the CBAA with invaluable feedback, which has informed the development of the organisation’s new strategic plan and some key areas of operation over the last 12 months.