Today I joined the Shadow Minister for Communications, Jason Clare and the Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek at the FBi studio in Alexandria to announce $5.6 million in funding for independent community radio.
Community radio is the independent voice of our communities.
As the NSW Young Labor President I led a successful campaign to make JJJ a national radio network, lobbying people like the-then Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
More than five million people have access to community radio, with a broad reach not only in our cities, but in rural and regional Australia.
Community radio makes a significant contribution to media diversity and local content, and plays a particularly significant role for Indigenous, print handicapped, ethnic and religious communities.
But in his first Budget as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull cut $5.6 million from community digital radio.
According to the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, 37 community digital radio services are facing closure altogether from 1 July 2016.
Labor knows these services are a valued part of Australian culture, and we will restore funding to ensure continued delivery of community digital radio services in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
This $5.6 million commitment over four years – $1.4 million per annum – will assist with digital platform and infrastructure costs including data connectivity, linking, multiplexing and transmission.
Labor introduced digital radio in Australia and we have a strong track record of supporting community broadcasting.
Independent radio voices should not disappear from our communities – Labor’s support will make sure community broadcasting continues to thrive.