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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
No cash for community media from either major party in this election: CBAA
Mood:  irritated
Topic: independent media

[Direct lift from CBAA on Sydney Indy Media 25th Nov 2007]

No cash for Community Radio & TV

The community broadcasting sector is unhappy that, on the eve of the election (and the sector’s annual conference) neither of
the major political parties have committed anything to sustain the future of community broadcasting.

Politicians of all persuasions have been very strong in espousing their support for the sector throughout the more than 100 meetings
that the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia has had this year. Those comments haven't been backed up with firm
policy commitments though, according to the CBAA.

CBAA General Manager Barry Melville has told radioinfo:

"All of the politicians and candidates we've met have been warmly supportive of community broadcasting [but] despite this, neither
the Coalition nor the ALP have responded positively to our funding requests."

Earlier this year, community broadcasting sector representatives presented a funding submission to representatives of all political
parties, hoping to underscore the future sustainability of the sector. Key elements of the submission included:

1. Content production: $7.2m

2. Infrastructure: $5m

3. Training: $2.8m

4. Sector coordination: $1.8m

“Given the budget surpluses of recent years these figures seem a remarkably modest ask,” says Melville.

The only party to release a policy on community broadcasting is The Greens. Their policy ‘Supporting Community Broadcasting,’ i
ncludes a commitment of an extra $10m per year in core funding to the sector. The Greens also support a recently released report
from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Information Technology, Communications and the Arts which commits
to funding for stations to subsidise management, training and improved governance.

Under its Arts Policy, the ALP has announced a commitment to fund the Australian Music Radio Airplay (AMRAP) project, which
is “very welcome,” according to the CBAA. The project, which has successfully connected thousands of independent Australian
musicians with community radio stations, is due to be wound up in early 2008 should it not receive further funding.

The CBAA opens it 35th annual conference in Melbourne today, without the hoped for funding promises. Over 350 community
broadcasters from around the country will attend the event.

At the conference the CBAA will be calling on the major political parties to “show their appreciation for the integral role the sector
plays in supporting local communities and enhancing Australia’s broadcasting landscape.”

Melville says: “It would have been simply fantastic to open the conference and say that no matter who wins the federal election
on Saturday, the community broadcasting sector would receive strong support from Government. I guess instead we’ll open it
with ‘great work everyone – sorry about the government’.”


Posted by editor at 9:07 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007 9:13 AM EADT

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