Windsor Hawkesbury Community Radio Chairman hoped for different time share arrangement | radioinfo

Windsor Hawkesbury Community Radio Chairman hoped for different time share arrangement

Friday 15 December, 2017

Windsor Hawkesbury Community Radio is now one of three aspirants pitching for the Hawkesbury licence on 89.9FM.

 
To find out more about WHCR, radioinfo spoke to Ralph Heness, the Chairperson of the operating body CAMS (Consortium of Australian Media Services Inc).
 
Ralph Heness was born in the 1930’s at Bondi and has been serving the community in volunteering and community service, wherever needed in Australia for 60 years.
 
He is a retired NSW Fire Brigades Stations Commander and has been a very active Lions Club member since 1975. Ralph is a sportsman, particularly enjoying golf and tennis, and is a lifetime member and patron of Regents Park cricket club, where he played 33 years of A grade cricket.
 
 
radioinfo: As Chairman of the group, do you live in the licence area? 
 
Heness: CAMS is a National Community representative body which has several Divisions and Services, WHCR is one autonomous service under the CAMS umbrella. As chairman of CAMS, I represent the whole organisation, not specific to one Division or Service within it, CAMS is not limited to only radio broadcasting. 
 
Therefore the CAMS organisation does not have a ‘licence area’ as ‘licence areas’ are specific to geographic radio/television broadcasting areas for stations. CAMS does have Divisions and Services which do cater to ‘licence areas’. WHCR, as an autonomous service in CAMS - that was established specifically for the community and by the community of the Hawkesbury does have a licence area, the Windsor RA1. 
 
radioinfo: You are currently recruiting local members. How many local members do you have so far and how many are you aiming to recruit? 
 
Heness: The membership of WHCR is 98% local, probably the highest in the country for a sub-metropolitan licence.
 
We continue to work on recruiting local members, three persons showed interest from the last article you posted which was up for a few hours in the morning, before another article about Hawkesbury Gold was posted that removed our article from the main page.

We have built our membership up to over 40 members, in a few short and onerous weeks since inception, most with voting rights, a remarkable achievement for such a short time, a real community station.

The Broadcasting services Act 92 has no requirement for a specific number of people for a TCBL to be granted, it could be 5 it could be 500, the main matter is community access to spectrum.
 
In relation to me personally, according to CAMS rules, when a new service commences within CAMS, the Chairperson of CAMS acts as the Acting interim chairperson of that service (being WHCR, or whatever other service), until the Service builds enough membership to elect its own committee of management (Board of Directors). WHCR is now at that stage.
 
radioinfo: What are the aims of the CAMS group in setting up WHCR? 

Heness: The establishment of WHCR allows CAMS to fulfil its own aims and objectives per its constitution, which stipulate that CAMS is to assist local communities gain access to spectrum to create a inclusive community radio service, wherever the need arises.
 
CAMS acted on the invitation from the ACMA’s call for applicants for a TCBL in the Windsor RA1, thus partly fulfilling its aims and objectives. The allocation of a TCBL and then a permanent licence in the future to WHCR will fulfil its aims and objectives.
 
radioinfo: Do you have studio facilities? Where are they? 
 
Heness: We have studio facilities, at Western Sydney University, however we are seeking community assistance to expand it or establish new studios that will better service the region and the community locally.
 
radioinfo: When were you ready to broadcast? 
 
Heness: We have been ready for quite some time, we have been attempting to bring the other TCBL’s together for the greater benefit of the community but unfortunately, they have been working together to dismiss our recommendations, which has in turn hampered the process. We plan on constantly improving the service for the community with the community’s help.
 
radioinfo: What are your thoughts on the current time share arrangement for the frequency?
 
Heness: Regrettably the time share proposal we have forwarded to the other groups, has not been accepted, although it makes the most sense.
 
ACMA has decided that 1 service providing a 3 day broadcast, followed by 2 services that provide a broadcast for 2 days each, is better than 1 week or 2 weeks or 3 or 4 or 6 or 8,16 weeks continuously to each group. We disagree, with the ACMA timeshare decision as we believe this hampers community access to various times, where a presenter may want to access air time for example on a Wednesday with a particular group, and that group does not operate on Wednesday.
 
We have no idea why the ACMA has done this – it is very counter productive to establishment of a viable and real community service. WHCR proposed a service of 4 months continuous to each TCBL, or 2 months, or 6 weeks each. Even if it were one week each it would be far better than what the ACMA is asking. In reality it appears 2 days is what the ACMA want, for reasons and logic unknown, we hope that the next time a decision is made on a TCBL (if they continue the TCBL system) that the time share is done differently. 
 
radioinfo: Any other comments?
 
Heness: Thank you for your interest, and we constantly continue to ask for the community and the industry to support WHCR-CAMS in the Windsor RA1. Our new website will hopefully be operational soon.

 
 
 

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helen.glen
18 December 2017 - 9:38am
Well done WHCR, you guys should be commended for what you are doing and our support is behind you lot. I like the idea of bringing the Western Sydney University into it. This will be a tremendous boost when you apply for the full time licence. Be careful not to get involved in any way with the two other feuding stations in the area. Good luck.
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