From regional access to 2SER, 3RRR and FBi — community broadcasting provides vital diversity across our airwaves thanks to armies of volunteers, sponsorships and pledges. Despite this, the recent Commission Of Audit recommended complete abolishment of the sector given various Commonwealth-funded ABC and SBS services. However, after Tuesday night’s budget, community TV and radio lives to broadcast another day.
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Gizmodo spoke with Community Broadcasting Association of Australia President, Adrian Basso, who was understandably relieved. “We’re pleased that community broadcasting is safe. We’re still getting down to the detail and will need to meet with the minister in the coming weeks.”
“The Federal Government has shown that it knows how important community radio and TV stations are for communities right across the country… We are hopeful that this means the Government is committed to supporting community broadcasting into the future. Community radio and TV stations deserve to know that they are secure not just in the short-term, but also in the longer term.”
On the issue of future funding, Mr Basso explained that he understands there is a pause in some of the indexation in the coming years, and that he’s aware some programs are coming to an end. “We’ll be sitting down with the minister and working that out.”
“Future years in the budget will probably be tougher, but things have certainly improved from Tuesday afternoon where we had our head on the chopping block for complete abolishment.”