COALITION TAKES AXE TO COMMUNITY RADIO

Yesterday’s MYEFO announcement confirmed the Abbott Government is ripping $2.5 million out of community radio over the next four years, Acting Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, said today.

“This is a massive blow to community radio services around Australia,” Ms Rowland said.

“Community radio provides important and diverse services to over 5 million Australians who tune in every week, particularly for information and news specific to their local areas.

“Community radio stations in our capital cities and in rural and regional Australia provide a critical independent voice to the media landscape.

“These cuts will hurt local communities, especially in rural and regional Australia, who rely heavily on these services,” Ms Rowland said.

Funding that has been cut was to also assist with the switch to the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service, so community groups could upgrade their equipment to enable radio services to be rebroadcast when the existing satellite platform is shut down at the end of 2013.

The Abbott Government’s cuts to community radio are in stark contrast with Labor’s track record which saw $28.9 million invested in community radio during its time in office.

WEDNESDAY, 18 DECEMBER 2013