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Strengthening Support for Community Radio - Federal Election 2019

cbaacomms, 11th April 2019

In the lead up to the Federal Election on Saturday, 18 May 2019, the CBAA is seeking to translate support for community broadcasting amongst sitting members of Parliament and candidates across the major parties, minor parties and independents into better policy settings to allow the sector to thrive.

In consultation with sector stakeholders, the CBAA has identified and will be seeking commitments on two key policy recommendations that will help ensure the sustainability and growth of community broadcasting services to meet community needs:

1. Long-term funding certainty

To ensure community broadcasting remains viable and can operate in an environment of certainty, we ask parties to commit to making all community radio funding recurrent, indexed and ongoing, rather than on allocation.

2. Strengthen financial support for community broadcasting

Expand funding for the Community Broadcasting Program by an extra $5.1 million annually to allow a larger development and operations grants pool (through the General Sustainability and Development Fund (GSD)) to meet the growing needs of community radio stations. 

CBAA's CEO, Jon Bisset, said of the recommendations:

"These changes will help ensure the growth and sustainability of the community broadcasting sector to help meet community needs."

"Recurrent funding for all sector funding and an increase in funding available for development and operations grants will position community radio to be able to continue its valuable contributions to the diversity of media services and local content made available to Australian communities.”

Currently, funding for digital radio roll out, as well as funding targeted at enhanced news programming, improved online presence and industry skills development is not included in the forward estimates from 2021/22.

For more information on these requests, see our campaign page.

How can you help?

During this election campaign, the CBAA will be working with stations to engage their local candidates – whether this be on-air, at community or station-run events or to help them learn more about their stations in their local electorate. If you’re at a station and would like to find out more about how you can be part of the campaign, please email Holly Friedlander Liddicoat or call 02 9310 2999.

As well as this, you can help by making sure you and your fellow community radio staff, volunteers, supporters and listeners make your support for community radio known! If you see your local candidates, let them know your support for community radio and the practical policies they can support that can help the sector across Australia.

Stay up to date

For updates over the coming weeks, see our campaign page, Facebook and Twitter.

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We are pleased that the community broadcasting sector continues to receive wide support across the political spectrum.


Perth community radio station RTRFM 92.1 has asked Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Federal Member for Perth Patrick Gorman to support the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s 2019 election policy agenda to Keep Community Radio.