Keep Community Radio

Keep The Community In Your Radio campaign launches in response to Federal Budget funding shortfall

Helen Henry, 4th May 2016

UPDATE 1/6: Friday, 3 June will be a national day of action. Community broadcasters and their supporters will be making lots of noise on and off air, driving people to get involved and sign the petition. Keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

UPDATE 19/5: 25,000 signatures!

UPDATE 12/5: 20,000 signatures!

Keep Community Radio

UPDATE11/5: More than 18,000 people have signed the petition to Keep The Community In Your Radio. 

Follow the campaign on Twitter and Facebook. Get involved at

The Federal Budget has failed to maintain funding for metropolitan community digital radio services in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

The loss of $1.4 million per annum puts all community digital radio services at risk.  

Community radio broadcasters are especially disappointed that a drop from the existing levels of funding support comes within a budget where commercial television and radio broadcasters are to benefit from immediate licence fee reductions, starting at 25%, and with more reductions under consideration.

Quite correctly, commercial broadcasters pay Government a fee for their private use of a public resource, radio-frequency spectrum, for private commercial gain. By a fee reduction the Government is sacrificing revenue and assisting commercial services. At the same time the Government is reducing support for non-profit community broadcasters, operated for the public good.

Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) CEO Jon Bisset says reduced support for community services raises serious concerns regarding the future of Australian media.

“Excluding community broadcasters from digital broadcasting threatens the whole community broadcasting sector’s key role in Australian free-to-air broadcasting.”

 “The Federal Budget does not properly reflect the value the government places on these media services to 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.”

 “This is particularly concerning given the planned reforms to media ownership, which are likely to result in a less diverse media landscape and less opportunities for community voices to be heard.”

 “Without community radio, the opportunities to share local stories and news and hear local voices will be incredibly limited, and so too will be the chance to build engaged, resilient and vibrant communities through fair and meaningful access to broadcast media.”

 “For over 40 years, Australian Governments have been committed to community radio standing alongside commercial and national radio services on available free-to-air broadcast platforms. Today, we see that position under threat.”

 “We have worked closely with the Government over the last six months to address this issue and ensure the future of the sector. We’re extremely disappointed and will be pursuing the issue further with the Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield.”

Community broadcasting is a key pillar in the Australian media landscape that contributes to and reflects our open society, strong democracy and vibrant culture. Over 5 million people tune in to not-for-profit, community-owned and operated radio services operating across the country each week.

Sign the Keep The Community In Your Radio petition

The CBAA has today launched a public campaign - Keep The Community In Your Radio - in response to Budget result. The Federal Budget contains cuts of $1.4 million p.a., funding that currently keeps community radio stations broadcasting on digital in 5 capital cities. Community radio’s standing alongside public and commercial broadcasters is at risk.  The good news is that community radio has great community support and during this election campaign we’ll be speaking up loud and clear and calling for both the Coalition and Labor to restore the funding if they win government.

Sign the petition to make sure that both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten get your message.

Facebook comments



The CBAA welcomes the Australian Greens’ commitment to a digital future for community radio.


On Thursday 20 March 2014, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s Commit to Community Radio campaign claimed some fantastic recognition as one of the best performing campaigns of late by winning a CommsCon award. The CommsCon awards recognise excellence in the fields of PR and communication.


A community radio sector wide campaign has been launched by the CBAA to address a $1.4m funding shortfall in the upcoming budget to support current community digital radio services in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.