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It was a nervous wait for community broadcasters, their viewers and listeners, and members of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), but the group are happy to report that the federal budget has spared community broadcasting and will continue funding the sector.
Earlier this month, the CBAA was forced to relaunch their Commit to Community Radio campaign – a response to last month’s Commission of Audit, which included a recommendation that the federal government abolish the funding that keeps Australia’s community broadcasting afloat.
CBAA President Adrian Basso expressed relief at the news in a statement to the group’s website, calling it “a fantastic outcome for community radio and TV stations across the country” and indicated that there would be “millions of listeners and volunteers breathing a big sigh of relief tonight.”
Last week, 3RRR Station Manager Dave Houchin warned The Age that if federal funding were cut to the community broadcasting sector, the popular, Melbourne-based alternative station would “die a slow death,” along with more than 100 other community radio stations who would also face closure.
“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,” said Mr Basso, adding that community broadcasting “plays a crucial role in providing a voice” for communities overlooked by other media.
— CBAA (@CBAA_) May 13, 2014