The Australian Community Television Alliance has announced that four of its member stations — C31 Melbourne, 44 Adelaide, 31 Digital Brisbane and WTV Perth — have accepted an offer from the Government to have their broadcast licences extended until the end of 2016.
The community TV sector was informed last year that its access to broadcast on free-to-air television would be revoked as of the end of 2015. The decision sparked a widespread campaign of public support for the community TV stations to stay on the air.
In September an offer the extend the stations’ broadcast licences by 12 months was made by the then Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull.
The Alliance has issued a brief statement this afternoon:
Hello Community TV supporters
A huge thanks to you all for helping secure a lifeline for Community TV!
Four Community TV stations recently accepted an offer from the Federal Government which grants the sector a one year extension of its free to air TV licence, through until the end of 2016.
This welcome decision by the Federal Government will allow the CTV sector crucial time to develop and roll-out our online platforms which we are confident will be relevant and attractive to all stakeholders – producers, sponsors and viewers.
Most importantly though, Community TV will continue on free to air TV through 2016.
For helping to protect the home of grassroots Australian community content we say thank you, dear viewer.
See you in 2016!
I wonder why what will happen to TVS then (if only the other four have agreed to accept the government’s offer.
I’ve not seen any statement clarifying TVS’s situation but I assume they will continue with the original plan of switching off their TV broadcast at the end of this year.
TVS and all the other community stations should be “fighting tooth and nail” to retain their FTA TV channel! It’s all very well having an “on-line” presence, the ABC, SBS and the commercial stations have that as well, but not everyone has access to a computer and not everyone is even computer-savvy. Turnbull’s act of September, 2014 was disgusting, despicable and unpardonable, especially in light of 2014 being a “milestone” anniversary year for Community TV(20 years on-air). In that same year, community radio celebrated 40 years of its sector, Community TV should be given the same opportunity, instead, all they got for an anniversary gift was a “kick in the teeth” from the then-communications minister.
No-one seems to care about community TV. No-one’s posted on this subject since my last post of 28/11/2015. Well, I care, and I’d hate to see Community TV lose out to the despicable bastardry of Malcolm Turnbull! Community TV DESERVES to have a future! And that future should be firmly planted on the FTA channels! Heck, we need an alternative to the absolute shit being thrown at us by the commercial stations these days!
Perhaps you could write to either Malcolm Turnbull or his successor as Minister for Communications, or your local member to voice your concerns?
I could write to my local member, Bob Baldwin, but he’s as useful as tits on a bull! However, I may yet write him(snail-mail, most likely, but I may hand-deliver it as it’s about 40 or so minutes by car to Raymond Terrace from Nelson Bay). But, as he’s sure to fail in the task, the community stations need to LOBBY HARD on the new minister, Mitch Fifield to get their message across.
As I understand it, one of the conditions of the 12-month extension to their broadcast licence was that if they accepted the offer to stay on the air the Community TV stations would not seek to extend this period any longer. So effectively it’s blocked them lobbying for any access to broadcast beyond the end of 2016. Four stations have obviously agreed to this condition, probably of the opinion that an extra 12 months is better than nothing.
@ Andrew B.
As you mentioned, your understanding was “one of the conditions of the 12-month extension to their broadcast licence was that if they accepted the offer to stay on the air the Community TV stations would not seek to extend this period any longer”. That’s a disgraceful situation, absolutely unconscionable! It goes against every ideal of the Australian “fair go” principle and the community TV station heads should not sit still for this for even one millisecond. As I stated, community TV DESERVES to have a permanent FTA presence because not everyone has access to a computer, thus not everyone may have the internet, so viewing community TV on an FTA channel would be their only option so watch an alternative to the crap spewed out at us by the commercial stations(ABC and SBS too, at times).
I think I WILL write to Baldwin, not that I expect it will do any good, he’s totally useless as MHR for the Paterson electorate.
@ Andrew B.
Update: I have written to Baldwin, and, as I said I would, hand-delivered the letter at his Raymond Terrace office. In the letter I told him to provide a copy for Mitchell Fifield, the current communications minister, but I truly don’t expect anything to happen as Baldwin is as useful as tits on a bull!
Maybe you should send a letter to Mr Fifield instead of relying on your member to send a copy.
I may well do that, but first I’ll give it until after the Xmas/New Year holiday period to see what Baldwin does. If I don’t see a reply by mid-January, then a letter will be sent to Fifield. Baldwin has no excuse for not replying, I provided my home(rather than e-mail) address and hand-delivered the letter to his electorate office.
Got a reply from Baldwin just prior to Xmas. As predicted, he proved himself useless. More interested in big-noting himself than commenting on the issue at hand. Said he’d pass my letter to Fifield, but I expect he won’t. I’ll write to Fifield myself in the new year.