Radio Blackspot funding branded pork barrelling | radioinfo

Radio Blackspot funding branded pork barrelling

Saturday 24 May, 2003

Queensland Labor Senator Jan McLucas has accused the government of “pork barrelling” with the recent radio black-spot transmission funding.

“Analysis of $1.05 million in radio blackspot funding announced by the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, and comments by Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, smells of political pork barrelling,” said McLucas.

On the 9th of May, Communications Minister Alston announced funding of $1.05 million to improve commercial radio services in regional Australia.

Thirty-six retransmission facilities will be established improving services in 14 Federal electorates. Analysis shows that 12 of these electorates are held by the Coalition, 1 by the ALP and 1 by an Independent MP.

Senator Jan McLucas said: “This shows a clear bias in the allocation of blackspot funding to those commercial radio stations servicing Coalition electorates.”

“I am really concerned that Coalition MPs are using blackspot funding to gain preferential treatment from commercial radio broadcasters.”

The Liberal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, in a media release of 15 May announcing new funding for a retransmission facility for Mossman, quotes the 4CA FM Cairns General Manager Ashley Myatt saying:

“We look forward to being able to relay Warren Entsch’s regular Tuesday morning chat with 4CA FM morning show hosts Locco and Juanita to the people of Mossman.”

Senator Jan McLucas said: “Mr Entsch is reported to have only begun doing the radio spot after 4CA submitted the application for backspot funding.”

“If the Coalition is using this funding to gain preferential treatment on commercial radio, then this threatens the independence of the media and goes to the heart of our democracy.”

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