It’s time to speak up: Secure a digital future for community radio

Greens MP and spokesperson for the arts, Jan Barham, is calling for public support to secure community radio’s future in the digital era. Her call comes after the NSW upper house supported the Greens’ motion on funding for digital community radio.

“Community radio stations are a vital service across the state, and eight stations have commenced digital community radio services in Sydney. But the Federal Government needs to add another $1.4 million in next month’s budget or those services may be forced off the air,” Ms Barham said.

Ms Barham has urged people to join the Commit to Community Radio campaign, an initiative of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, ahead of the Federal Budget.

“Community radio stations fill the gaps that commercial and public broadcasters fail to cover. Community radio is largely supported by thousands of volunteers and actually helps the industry by providing a fertile training ground,” Ms Barham said.

“Community radio services local communities with vital information and news, provides a platform for new and emerging Australian musicians, and supports a wide variety of community interest groups, including culturally and linguistically diverse groups.”

“As listeners move across to digital radio, community stations need adequate funding to ensure the important services they provide can continue.”

“The NSW upper house backed my motion supporting community radio, but now the Federal Government needs to hear a groundswell of public support,” Ms Barham said.

“We need the community to shout loud and clear that they want community radio to continue, and not to be lost from the digital radio landscape. Almost 40,000 people have already joined the Commit to Community Radio campaign, but the time to speak up is right now. Sign the petition online, write to your Federal MP, support your local community radio station and those that are at risk from the funding shortfall.”

Support the Commit to Community Radio campaign at http://committocommunityradio.org.au/

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0407 065 061

The full motion supporting community radio stations is available here: http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LC20130327010?open&refNavID=undefined