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Australia Adds Community Radio Funding

Last-minute effort prevents not-for-profit digital shutdown

Australia’s Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has promised to add AU$ 6 million to funding for not-for-profit radio broadcasters for three years, according to the Guardian. This move resolves a months-long campaign to fight what community radio advocates called a 40 percent budget shortfall.

The original budget gave AU$ 15.5 million to the independent stations for the 2013-14 fiscal year. The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia will use this money to upgrade facilities and keep digital services on the air for the 37 community radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

“It’s a great result and we are very grateful to the Gillard government for doing this. There were a lot of emails sent to senators and MPs and plenty of meetings behind the scenes. I think the government paid attention to that sustained effort,” said CBAA President Adrian Basso. “We kept up a dialogue with senator Conroy after the budget and we remained optimistic. But it would’ve been very difficult if we didn’t get a result. We would’ve lost services.”