Community broadcasting provides an essential service in remote Indigenous communities. TEABBA Works with 29 communities across the Top End. 8 remote Indigenous media organisations (RIMOs) deliver media and communications services to over 150 remote Indigenous communities throughout central and northern Australia and the Torres Strait. Their regional radio networks provide a primary radio service to communities spread across nearly 50% of Australia’s land mass. We are concerned that the National Commission of Audit recommendation to cut funding to the Community Broadcasting Program would have a huge impact on the Indigenous broadcasting sector if implemented. This targeted funding, distributed by the Community Broadcasting Foundation, enables RIMOs like TEABBA to pay broadcasters in remote communities to contribute locally relevant programs and stories across regional radio networks. It also provides support for urgent broadcast equipment upgrades, training, websites and online content sharing, music recording and sharing via AMRAP, and attendance by remote media workers at the annual National Remote Indigenous Media Festival. As well as radio services, the remote media sector also incorporates a community television platform (ICTV), and delivers video production outcomes, music recording and events, online media platforms and nationally significant digital archiving projects. The sector promotes Indigenous languages and culture and plays an essential communications role in the most remote areas of Australia by delivering radio services that convey news, emergency and weather warnings, information and relevant content in local language and idiom. TEABBA supports the CBAA’s response and reiterates the importance of government support for a diverse and accessible media landscape. Without the Community Broadcasting Program, the 40-year history of community broadcasting in Australia may become history. To find out more visit http://committocommunityradio.org.au/media-release-community-radio-locked-out-of-budget-lock-up/
Community radio stations across the country could be forced off air if the Commission of Audit recommendation to scrap funding for the Community Broadcasting Program is accepted by the Government. Community Broadcasting Association of Australia President Adrian Basso said the recommendation, if adopted, would put stations right across the country at serious risk. “The recommendation from the Commission of Audit shows a complete lack of understanding of the community broadcasting sector and the significant contribution it makes to media diversity in the country,” Mr Basso said. “For local communities, community broadcasting is vital. It plays a crucial role in providing a voice for communities that aren’t adequately serviced by other broadcasting sectors including Indigenous Australians, ethnic communities, the print and vision impaired, young people and seniors.