The CBAA's submission to the Nous Report review


The CBAA welcomed the opportunity to comment on the report prepared by the Nous Group in October 2014. The CBAA consulted with members and made a submission in response to the report and the 34 recommendations therein.

As a starting point, the CBAA premised its submission with:

  • Broad support for the CBF review to occur. The CBAA believes that all professional organisations have the right and responsibility to review their governance systems regularly. In light of the significant changes occurring in media, and broadcasting, in particular, the CBAA maintains that change to the CBF is necessary if the sector is to maintain and grow its position as a key pillar in Australian broadcasting for the benefit of communities across the country.
  • A push for further additional consultation by the CBF before a decision is made on structural and governance models. It was recommended that suggested implementation and transition timeframes be revised to be more realistic.

The CBAA’s position on the recommendations

See below for a brief outline on the CBAA’s position. For full details, please read the submission and PDF icon this guide.pdf comparing the Nous Review recommendation, CBAA position and current CBF position.

On the role of the CBF

The CBAA supports continuing the existing CBF purpose to ‘seek, secure, administer and distribute funding to support the development, creativity and sustainability of community broadcasting in Australia’. This does not extend to involvement to initiating projects, project management, analysis or recommendations about broader sector or industry strategy issues. These are roles for the CBAA and Sector Representative Organisations (“SROs”). (CBAA position supported by the CBF)

On seeking funding and grant categories

  • The CBAA strongly supports multiple year funding agreement between the CBF and the Department of Communication. (Supported by the CBF)
  • While some simplification of funding categories seems advisable, the CBAA identified that there are significant issues that will arise in collapsing funding lines into five categories and the impact of this on lobbying and advocacy in the sectors’ interest and maintaining funding distinctions and core areas.
  • The CBAA supports the transition to outcome-based funding. It is widely recognised as best practice for granting activities to have an outcome orientation so that grant recipients focus on outcomes and outputs for beneficiaries. (Supported by the CBF)
  • The concept of setting hourly rates for Ethnic, Indigenous and RPH grants seems likely to be constructive for station planning.The CBAA recommended that further time be allowed for SROs and other stakeholders to consults their members and provide further feedback.
  • The proposed single application coverage all categories in a funding round, with two funding rounds per year, poses opportunities as well as some issues and risks that need to be more accurately identified and discussed. (Supported by the CBF)

On sector projects

The CBAA does not support a ‘blanket’ approach to ‘projects’ being commissioned through a public request for quotation (RFQ) made available to SROs, stations and external organisations.

On grant assessment

The CBAA agrees the assessment panel framework could be a reasonable replacement for the current GAC structures. More discussion and consideration should occur in relation to specific details of the assessor pool structure. (Supported by the CBF)

On the CBF Board

A number of recommendations in the Nous Report related to the CBF Board. The CBAA’s position outlined in the submission was as follows:

  • The CBAA feels that a two-year term would be appropriate for the CBF Board, though three year terms could be considered. (Supported by the CBF, in part)
  • The CBAA supports a maximum period of service of three consecutive terms. A maximum term of no more than eight to nine years would be appropriate. (Supported by the CBF)
  • Board terms should be staggered so that a third to a half of Board members complete their terms in the given year. (Supported by the CBF)
  • Seven or eight directors would be a preferable number to the suggested five. (Supported by the CBF, in part)
  • With regards to the CBF Board President, the CBAA does not support that the President be appointment by the incoming Board. Further, the CBAA considers that the existing CBAA nomination role (in consultation with other SROs) should remain in place. (Supported by the CBF)
  • With regards to other Board Directors, the CBAA does not support the model whereby outgoing directors appoint incoming directors. Instead, the CBAA supports the development of a nominations committee of 3 – 5 people be formed. This may be a combination of CBF Directors and external appointments, and they would also include appropriate involvement of the CBAA and other SROs. Skills and diversity of the Board would assist in guiding nominations.