Sector Leadership Update: December 2019

Holly Friedlander Liddicoat, 13th December 2019

2019 has been a busy year for the CBAA, working with Government and across all parties to strengthen support for community broadcasting.

Read below for some recent updates and some key plans for 2020.

What's happened recently?
  • The CBAA made a submission to the Select Committee on Regional Australia's inquiry into Regional Australia, as yet not published. Our submission highlighted the important contribution community radio stations make to regional communities, and how they help contribute to local and national identity. We highlighted that increased funding available to stations via the Community Broadcasting Foundation will help regional, rural and remote stations continue and enhance their vital services. We emphaised that increased funding will help stations in drought-affected regions.
  • The CBAA worked with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on some minor amendments to the B66 form - the form that permanently licensed broadcasters use to renew their licences every five years. This includes further clarity around community engagement and localism requirements, and is now in effect.
  • We participated in the cross-industry #RightToKnow campaign, highlighting the need for greater protections for media freedom in Australia.
  • On 3 December 2019 the ACMA announced a deeming determination that will allow Edge Radio to provide a DAB+ digital radio service in Hobart. Both the CBAA and Edge Radio made submissions to the ACMA consultation to support the deeming of the RA3 community broadcasting licence area for digital radio. The Edge submission had strong support from the Hobart community, with support letters from Andrew Wilkie MP, Volunteering Tasmania and Music Tasmania.

Government releases its response to the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry 2DRY representatives and Senator Tim Ayres

At the end of 2017, the then Treasurer asked the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to conduct an inquiry into digital platforms. The inquiry looked at the effect that digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms have on competition in media and advertising services markets. The inquiry looked at the impact of digital platforms on the supply of news and journalistic content and the implications of this for media content creators, advertisers and consumers.

The final report was published on 26 July 2019. In August and September 2019 the Government sought stakeholder comments on the ACCC’s findings and recommendations. The CBAA made a submission to this process, which has now been published. Our comments focused on the recommendations regarding a harmonised media regulatory framework; funding for local and specialised news reporting; and philanthropic support for media organisations.

The Government has announced it will work to implement a number of the recommendations, including media regulation reform in 2020. The CBAA will continue working with the Government to ensure an optimal regulatory environment for community broadcasters.

What's in store for 2020?

Codes of Practice

The CBAA has this month received feedback from the ACMA about the proposed consultation draft of the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice. We will finalise the review of this feedback in early 2020 before releasing the document for sector-wide and public feedback.


The CBAA will continue working with Government to ensure that funding for stations is adequate in order to match rising costs and secure adequate core funding for DAB+ digital radio services beyond what is included in the Forward Estimates.

Forward Agenda for Sector Leadership

The CBAA will finalise a draft Forward Agenda for Sector Leadership, taking into account the consultations we undertook in 2019 and our ongoing conversations with members and sector stakeholders.

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At the end of 2017, the then Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, asked the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to conduct an inquiry into digital platforms.


The CBAA continues to advocate for the needs of its members and the wider community broadcasting sector. Here's what's happened recently:


The Federal Government has kicked off a number of processes to enhance media’s role in producing local information, combating misinformation and strengthening communities. These include the Government’s development of a News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, its media diversity inquiryradiocommunications legislation amendments and more – all with which the CBAA has been actively engaging.