Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) has urged the Australian government to increase funding for community broadcasters. CBAA is asking for an extra $AU14 million for “vital community broadcasting services.”

According to CBAA President Deborah Welch, community television is the training ground for the Australian media industry.

“It is the launching pad for the career of thousands of Australian musicians. It is an incredible source of local news, music and culture targeted specifically to local communities and produced by members of the community themselves,” Ms Welch said in a statement.

Stations broadcast a range of programs from religious programing, to car shows and sporting events. Several state based sporting leagues broadcast on community television stations. C31 Melbourne broadcasts an association football show called The Victoria Football Show; Queensland Community Television broadcasts AFL Queensland State League matches; and C31 Adelaide broadcasts Indoor Cricket & Netball and South Australian National Football League matches.

According to the CBAA, the primary income sources for community television stations are sponsorship announcements and community donations.

“The CBBA is calling on the Federal Government to commit $14 million in new funding for content production, infrastructure, training and sector co-ordination and planning,” Ms Walch says. “With $10.4 billion being spent on ‘strengthening the economy’ this is highly targeted $14 million will assist in skills development and employment pathways for many volunteers involved in local stations as well as strengthening local communities ability to sustain themselves in tough times.”

Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlum says, “[The] government should always be looking at ways to bring communities together, through sharing information and building partnerships.”