Invest in Community Radio Resilience and Innovation - 2022 Federal Election Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke & 2MFM's Hajjah Faten El Dana and Ms Sara Kahil

Community radio has played a vital role in supporting communities through the COVID-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters. Our stations have provided timely and culturally-sensitive local information. They're exploring new business models with their local publishers to support public interest journalism. They've strengthened community connections and resilience by fundraising and supporting community groups. They've supported Aussie artists who've lost income by increasing airplay. And they've comforted those most isolated through innovative music and spoken word programming.

Federal Government funding is the important backbone that underpins our sector's work. An increased investment ensures our stations have a strong base from which to innovate, and that major sector-wide projects are secured.

In the 2022 Federal Election, the CBAA is seeking an increase in sector funding to $25m per annum. 

This is a long-standing policy position for the CBAA. The extra $5m per annum will support strong station operations and resilience, allowing a steady base from which to innovate.

$25m per annum also secures funding ongoing for major sector projects like DAB+ digital radio, online and multiplatform infrastructure, news and training.

Currently, ~$20 is projected in the Forward Estimates until 2022/23, before it drops back to ~$16m from 2023/24. A baseline of $20m secures major national projects. An increase to $25m per annum will strengthen station operations and resilience.

Find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved.

Strengthening Support for Community Radio - 2019 Federal Election

Community broadcasting is a key pillar in the Australian media landscape and contributes to our open society, strong democracy and cultural vibrancy. Patrick Gorman, Tony Burke and Karen Lee RTR FM

The CBAA has been working hard to build greater support for the sector among sitting members of Parliament and candidates across the major parties, minor parties and independents. In the lead up to the 2019 Federal Election, we want to translate this support into better policy settings to allow the community broadcasting sector to thrive.

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. 

Find out more about the campaign.

Keep The Community In Your Radio - 2016 Federal Budget

Keep Community Radio

In the 48 hours after the delivery of the Federal Budget in May, the CBAA and sector launched the Keep the Community in Your Radio campaign.

Almost 55,000 people signed the campaign petition, and the CBAA visited 16 MPs and candidates, including the Minister, to deliver the names of voters in their electorates who signed the petition. The campaign included nearly 40 emails to the ever-growing CBAA database, now over 100,000 supporters strong, encouraging various actions to support community radio.

The best results were achieved when stations themselves were active in the campaign, especially on the National Day of Action, which saw our petition almost double in size. As well as helping #keepcommunityradio trend on Twitter for the whole day, and prompting almost 90,000 people to talk about the campaign on Facebook, stations and community radio supporters around the country got involved on-air and we saw huge support from the music industry, media personalities, and high profile community leaders.

Community radio's voice was ringing loud and clear. The campaign successfully got the attention of all parties and the sector received commitments from The Labor Party, The Greens and The Nick Xenophon Team to restore funding for community digital radio. 

In July 2016, the Coalition returned to Government as the only party not committed to restoring funding for digital community radio. The CBAA, with support of the sector, continued to lobby and campaign for the cross-party support that community radio has enjoyed for the last 40 years. 

In May 2017, the Federal Government announced that it would increase funding for the sector by $6.1m over two years, with funding targeted for digital radio ($1.9m in 2017/18 and $2m in 2018/19) and support for stations affected by the reorganisation of the 803-960 MHz radio frequency band ($2.2m).

Find out more:

Keep Community Radio - Image

Commit To Community Radio

Commit to Community Radio - National Commission of Audit

The 2014 Commission of Audit recommended that funding for the Community Broadcasting Program be scrapped. If the Federal Government adopted the recommendation in the subsequent budget, community broadcasters would have been at serious risk. 

Community broadcasting has always been significantly self-funded. The level of ongoing Federal Government funding through the Community Broadcasting Program provides just 8.5 per cent of average station income.

Community radio from across the country launched a large scale campaign during the week in an attempt to safeguard community broadcasting from funding cuts, following the Commission of Audit’s recommendation that the funding be scrapped.

The efforts of community broadcasting supporters, through the Commit to Community Radio campaign, ensured that the Commission of Audit recommendations were not accepted in the 2014 budget. This was another victory for the sector and proved the value of supporter engagement through this campaign.

2022 Federal Election
CBAA's Holly FL and Jon Bisset stand with then Shadow Minister Michelle Rowland in CBAA offices

hfriedlander, 2nd June 2022

Having worked closely with her in her role as Shadow Minister, she has a deep understanding of community broadcasting and its role in the broader media landscape.

Frieda Lee, 18th May 2022

Labor's win secures $12m promise for community radio.

A quote from the article and a photo of Barnaby Joyce and David Gillespie sitting at the studio desk with Sta FM workers standing beside them

Frieda Lee, 18th May 2022

Barnaby Joyce has expressed his ongoing support for commity radio on air at Sta FM in Inverell