Community Radio 'ignored' by Federal Budget | radioinfo

Community Radio 'ignored' by Federal Budget

Thursday 15 May, 2003

Tuesday night's budget "has done nothing for Australia's 300+ community
broadcasting stations," according to the CBAA President.

David Melzer, President of the Community Broadcasting Association of
Australia, is "frustrated" that despite the number of community stations
doubling in the last 4 years, and with most of this growth being in rural
and regional Australia, the Federal government has ignored their needs.

"Everyone says that Australian media is too networked and lacks local
content. But the one part of the Australian media that is actually doing
something about this is being ignored,"
said Melzer.

Community broadcasters had asked the government to support a range of
initiatives including low cost broadcasting and station management skills training.

"Community broadcasters are volunteers supporting their local communities,"
said Melzer, "but with rural and regional communities under pressure
from drought, bushfires, reducing government services, and no support for
training, the only truly local media sector in Australia is in danger of
withering on the vine."

There are over 25,000 volunteer broadcasters at more than 300 community radio and television stations around Australia. 70% of licensed stations are located in rural, regional and remote
areas.

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