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Sector Leadership Update: December 2018

Holly Friedlander Liddicoat, 18th December 2018
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Read the last update on several key areas of focus for the CBAA's recent policy submissions, sector leadership initiatives and government relations efforts, as well as looking briefly to what's in store in 2019.

Summary of Update
  • The NSW Parliament tabled its report into the Music and Arts Economy in New South Wales.
  • The CBAA and 4ZZZ attended a public hearing into the Inquiry into the Australian Music Industry.
  • Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice review update.
The Music and Arts Economy in NSW

In November, the NSW Parliament tabled its report into the music and arts economy in NSW. The report includes a number of supportive recommendations which, if adopted, would support community radio stations, live music infrastructure, programs, initiatives and funding in NSW.

The CBAA made a submission and participated in a public hearing, outlining:

  • The unique value of community radio to a vibrant music and arts sector; 
  • Examples of successful policy support for community radio around Australia, particularly in Victoria;
  • Examples of how community radio supports the music and arts ecosystem across NSW, including in regional NSW.
Committee recommendations

The Committee's community broadcasting recommendations were significantly influenced by the CBAA's submission and appearance at a public hearing in August:

Recommendation 41

"That the NSW Government investigate options for a cultural hub that co-locates the Music Development Office, contemporary music organisations and businesses, rehearsal and performance space, community radio, writing and recording studios and a youth venue in Inner Sydney."

Committee Comment / Recommendation 57 on Community Radio

  • "The committee acknowledges the critical role that community radio plays in supporting new and emerging Australian talent, and fostering crucial links between artists and communities."
  • "The committee was impressed by the community radio organisations' ability to provide such an important service with so little funding. The committee notes that community radio is regulated and funded by the Commonwealth Government, however more could be done to support local stations that are working hard to support local musicians and, in turn, our state's vibrant culture and healthy economy."
  • "To ensure that New South Wales artists have access to a community radio network that is suitably resourced to promote and develop our local music scene, the committee recommends that the NSW Government allocate funding to community radio stations in New South Wales, on top of that already provided by the Commonwealth Government, either under a new community radio grants scheme or as part of the contemporary music funding package recommended at Recommendation 8. This funding would be used to meet the costs of the building new broadcast infrastructure and to foster live events and radio content that supports new music."
  • "The committee further recommends that the NSW Government investigate opportunities to amend advertising guidelines to encourage government advertising on community radio stations, where appropriate."

Government response

Ahead of next year's state election, the NSW Labor party has announced that they support the report's recommendations in their entirety. The Government or other parties have yet to release their music policies.

What's next?

The CBAA will continue to monitor the NSW Government's response and implementation of the recommendations, ensuring that the information is used to inform our Government relations work on behalf of the sector. The work has also informed our contribution to the inquiry into the Australian music industry - read more below.

Inquiry into the Australian Music Industry

On 15 August 2018, the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, asked the Committee to inquire into and report on factors contributing to the growth and sustainability of the Australian music industry.

In our last update, we wrote that the CBAA made a submission to the Committee, highlighting the strengths of the community broadcasting sector in supporting and fostering local music scenes and filling the gaps left by other broadcasting sectors.

We were pleased to subsequently attend a public hearing on 22 November with 4ZZZ. Our sector was very warmly received by the Committee, and we highlighted the unique role community radio plays in binding musical ecosystems, emphasised the importance of funding surety for the sector, and suggested increasing the general funding delivered to stations through the Community Broadcasting Foundation.

Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice Review

The CBAA, as the sector organisation representing the majority of community radio licensees, is responsible for coordinating the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice review.

The purpose of the review is to bring the Codes up to date with current practices. The review process includes a series of consultations with stations and other stakeholders, researching issues raised in relation to the current Codes, reviewing other sector Codes and guiding documents, and discussions with the ACMA.

The review will continue in 2019. Read more about what's been done so far and what's in store for the review in the new year.

What else has happened recently?
  • The CBAA made a submission to the National Arts and Disability Strategy consultation.
  • Jon went to Canberra and met with the offices of Michelle Rowland MP (Shadow Minister for Communications), Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie (Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation), Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield (Minister for Communications and the Arts) and Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
  • The CBAA, in its recent CBX mail out (November), invited all Federal MPs and Senators to connect with their local community radio station and has received some warm responses.

In 2019, we'll see a Federal Election, and we're working on ensuring community radio is favourably supported by all political parties. Make sure you're connecting with your local politicians so they understand the value of what you do for your community. Check out the Political Engagement Toolkit for tips, strategies and resources to help you.

Should you have any further questions, or would like to provide ideas or feedback into sector leadership matters, please don't hesitate to contact our Project Coordinator (Government Relations), Holly Friedlander Liddicoat via hfriedlander@cbaa.org.au or phone 02 9310 2999.

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Abstract
In 2004 the first, national, statistically robust, quantitative assessment of the Australian community broadcasting sector’s audience reach was undertaken. Conducted by McNair Ingenuity, this research provided a major breakthrough in the wider shift to a more audience-centred approach to managing the sector. The findings, significance and implications of this research are considered here. Following recent developments in critical cultural policy studies, this paper locates this renewed concern for community broadcasting audiences within a ‘larger cycle of decision-making’ (O’Regan, Balnaves and Sternberg 2002: 2). The particular influence of developments such as the emerging spectrum market and the imminent transition to digital transmission systems is discussed. These developments are important to understanding why community broadcasting resistance to market-based conceptions of audience is being overcome, and how audience-centredness might be used to facilitate the continuing development of this ‘third’ sector of Australian broadcasting.