Community radio scores funding for digital stations

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Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

A shortfall in the 2012 Federal Budget cast a pall on the likelihood of community radio stations being able to maintain their digital transmissions.

(Credit: CBAA)

In 2011, 37 metropolitan-wide community radio stations in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth launched digital radio services with assistance from government funding.

Changes in the subsequent 2012 and 2013 budgets meant that the number of digital stations couldn't be maintained, with estimates suggesting that all community digital radio services in at least two capital cities would have to be shut down.

Today, it was announced that the government will indeed commit to the required funding, with AU$6 million being allocated over the next three years. The funding will allow the digital stations to stay on air, and hopefully allow for community radio to develop further digital services.

The funding comes on the back of lobbying from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), with the "Commit to Community Radio" campaign.

In a media statement, president of the CBAA Adrian Basso said:

It's fantastic that the Federal Government has listened to the needs of the community and delivered the funding required to keep digital community radio services up and running. This is a sign that the Federal Government is serious about supporting media diversity in Australia.

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