Sector Leadership Update: April 2022

Frieda Lee, 13th April 2022
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We’ve had a busy start to the year and things are getting busier with the 2022 Federal Election fast approaching. 

A lot has been happening since our last Sector Leadership Update at the end of last year. We’re a step closer to public consultation on our Codes of Practice, with our draft currently being reviewed by the ACMA. We’ve made a number of submissions to Government and had some good results. We’re well into our pre-election campaign and are getting some great responses from politicians.

2022 Federal Election

We have been working closely with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications to ensure they have a detailed understanding of the sector’s needs and priorities.

We have been meeting with politicians on all sides to build support for community broadcasting across the political spectrum. We’ve had meetings with the offices of Paul Fletcher, Michelle Rowland, Ken Wyatt, Bill Shorten, Anne Webster, Terry Young, Emma McBride, Susan Templeman, Lisa Chesters, Russell Broadbent, Bridget Archer, Anthony Byrne and we have more meetings in the pipeline. The response to our priorities, including an additional $5m in sector funding, has been positive. We have been met with willingness to offer hands-on support. This good will is a testament to the work that community radio is doing to support communities around Australia.

How you can champion community radio Support our calls for a $5m increase in sector funding

As the election campaign has kicked off, we need your help!

In the last two election campaigns, we have focused on connecting our stations with local members and supporting you to build these relationships.

MPs and Senators who have a relationship with their local community radio station/s are strong advocates. They see the value of our stations firsthand. This elevates our sector with Government, but it can also directly benefit your station. Connected local members provide support through sponsorship and other means.

Throughout the election, we need you to engage with your local candidates - on air, online, and at events. We encourage you to consider:

  • Interviewing local candidates on air.
  • Hosting local meet the candidate events and undertaking OBs.
  • Inviting candidates to your station events.

While you have your local candidates atention, ask them if they will support the CBAA's calls to increase funding by $5m for the sector.

Read our info sheet, which includes info about supporting our ask and political interview tips.

Let us know what you have planned and/or how we can support you. Please email your updates, picture and questions to CBAA's Head of Advocacy and Communications, Holly Friedlander Liddicoat at holly.friedlander@cbaa.org.au 

There’s also the chance to win $2,000 a week by sending in your photos to the CCA and Our Community’s competition Poli-pix.

Federal Budget

The Federal Budget has maintained sector funding at $20.5m. $20.5m is the figure our sector needs to ensure community radio stations remain viable. It is a critical base that enables stations to leverage and grow other revenue streams. Commonwealth funding also provides support for essential sector-wide projects including community DAB+ digital radio, the Enhanced National News Project, the Multiplatform Distribution Project and the Enhanced National Training Package.

We continue to work with Government to increase our sector's funding to $25m. Our position is that $20.5m is the critical baseline our sector needs to remain viable and an additional $5m - to bring our total funding to $25.5m - would help to provide stations with stability in their core operations and technology infrastructure, giving them a strong base from which to innovate and adapt to serve their communities. Read our submission to the Department of Treasury’s Federal Budget process

We’ve briefed the Department at all levels and our champions in parliament have been speaking with Minister Fletcher across the corridor to endorse our ask. Stations have been doing excellent work to advocate with their local representatives for the additional $5m on behalf of the sector.

Local news

It's a hot political topic at the moment, and the CBAA is working hard to showcase our sector's contribution to local news across Australia. Community radio is a vital source of local news and in many communities we’re the only source. Our pitch to Government is: if community radio stations are funded to be secure in their day-to-day operations, then they are uniquely placed to grow and innovate in the local news space. For a relatively small investment, community radio delivers exponential value.

Future of Regional Newspapers Inquiry

We’ve had a great outcome for the sector in The Future of Regional Newspapers in a Digital World: Inquiry into Australia's regional newspapers report which has just been published by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications. The CBAA provided a submission to the Inquiry and gave evidence at the Public Hearing in February. 

We showcased the exciting work stations like the Torres Strait’s 4MW and Outback Radio 2WEB are doing to bring their local papers back to life. The Committee commended these new models of local news emerging in our sector encouragement to Government to support our sector to increase our capacity to fill news deserts and counter the loss of regional newspapers in communities around Australia. Click here to read more about the recommendations.

Local & Independent News Association

The Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas (JNI) has partnered with the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) to develop an industry-wide capacity-building organisation, the Local and Independent News Association (LINA). The Association which launched in February, will help existing hyperlocal media to survive and grow, and to encourage new hyperlocal media entrants by providing capacity-building support, expert advice and access to critical third-party services. The hands-on support provided by LINA will directly address the challenges commonly cited by hyperlocal news organisations. Read more about LINA here.

Other submissions

Submission on planning principles for AM to FM conversions in regional licence areas - consultation

The CBAA has made a submission to the ACMA’s consultation on adopting a set of principles to guide the planning of AM to FM conversions in regional radio licence areas. The submission makes some recommendations on the proposed principles and supports the continuing consideration of community radio services on a case-by-case basis, in line with the ACMA approach to broadcast spectrum planning and varying licence area plans. The submission also stresses that channels used by a long-term TCBL should not be set aside in favour of enabling AM to FM conversion. We will share the submission once published by the ACMA.

Development of a National Anti-Racism Framework

The CBAA has made some recommendation to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s consultation on the development of a National Anti-Racism Framework. We have voiced our support for the development of a Framework and suggested the need for: a Guiding Principle about diverse voices being meaningfully and significantly represented in the media; and a National Outcome about inclusion, participation and access to media. Read our submission.

Review of the Codes Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice

Our revised Codes of Practice have been sent to the ACMA for the next review by their sub-committee. After this review process is complete, we will be able to develop a timeline for the public consultation on the Codes. We expect to go out to public consultation in the coming months and submit a final version of the Codes to the ACMA for inclusion in the Register of Codes of Practice by the end of 2022.

The CBAA is grateful to the ACMA for their collaboration to give the sector scope for flexibility to meet individual community needs, and to the Codes Advisory Committee for lending their specialist expertise and sector knowledge.

Questions?

For questions about this update, please contact our Head of Advocacy and Communications, Holly Friedlander Liddicoat via holly.friedlander@cbaa.org.au or our Policy Advisor Frieda Lee via frieda.lee@cbaa.org.au or on 02 9310 2999.

 

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