Federal budget cuts ethnic training | radioinfo

Federal budget cuts ethnic training

Tuesday 27 May, 2003

Ethnic broadcasters are angry at the government’s decision to cut funding to the Australian Ethnic Radio Training Project (AERTP) in the recent federal budget.

Over the past ten years Australian governments have invested $1.65 million in establishing a training program for ethnic broadcasters working in community stations. The program, which was administered by the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters council (NEMBC) , which represents about 4,000 ethnic community broadcasters around Australia, now faces the prospect of winding up its operations.

NEMBC President George Zangalis told radioinfo: “For the sake of $250,000 a year, this investment has been destroyed. Without funding the network of trainers will disintegrate. The specialized curriculum and training will be lost.”

AERTP has developed a curriculum, established resources and established a network of trainers around the country over the past ten years of the program.

”The government has made much of the need to reinforce Australia’s security in this budget. The war in Iraw and Afghanistan has not put an end to terrorism, as events over the past few days demonstrate. But security involves more than just armed forces and intelligence services,” said Zangalis. “In Australia, ethnic community broadcasting has bene a critical medium for promoting understanding and harmony between communities. Ethnic broadcasters, speaking to communities in their own languages, are uniquely trusted by their listeners.”

“At the core of the AERTP program is the need to observe the Community Broadcasting Code of Practice, which provides that broadcasters ‘shall not broadcast material which may stereotype, incite, vilify … any person.”

“At a time when community harmony is needed more than ever, the destruction of the AERTP is short sighted and small-minded,” said Zangalis.

Ethnic broadcasters are hoping to lobby to reverse the decision and will meet to discuss a “campaign to overturn the decision.”

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