Jun 2, 2016

Labor’s commitment to community radio

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.