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Budget Cuts to Ethnic Community Broadcasting

micropngWe received worrying report that the ethnic community broadcasting sector will lose all its funding in the coming Federal Budget to be announced on 13 May 2014.

The President of the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting  Council Dr Tangi Steen informed this paper that the council is outraged of report that the Commission of Audit Report  has recommended the cutting of all funding to community broadcasting.

Mr Steen said,”Ethnic community broadcasting plays a vital role in building the incredible social cohesion and harmony that exist in Australia and this cut could mean the end of ethnic radio programs and closure of radio stations.”

Mr Steen said this loss could be devastating to this sector.

“Australia would suffer as a nation; it would be a major setback to diversity. Particularly under threat would be regional and rural radio stations and new and emerging communities that use the radio to assist their inclusion into our society,” Mr Steen said.

Mr Steen continues:”There seems to be a lack of understanding from the Commission on the role that community broadcasting sector plays as a “third sector media.”  We are already extremely cost effective and the small financial support we receive from the government is used to sustain a sector already under pressure.”

“We hope that the government will see the reason when it develops  budget  over the coming week and will continue to see the valuable role that community broadcasting lays,’ Mr Steen said.

We strongly agree with the CBBA that the community broadcasting sector is  smart investment, for every dollar the government puts in, the social outcome is huge.”

The ethnic broadcasting sector harnesses the skills, expertise, and time of over 4,000 volunteers from 125 distinct cultural groups to produce over 2,118 hours of content every week. The government investment is critical in sustaining and building the capacity o this low cost, volunteer driven sector.

Ethnic community broadcasters need to be aware of this potential budget cuts. Please contact the officers
f the NEMBC, contact your local politicians to voice out concerns at these potential cuts.

The NEMBC will be sending more information and the CBBA will also be keeping the community radio stations informed.