Government Seeks Regional Radio Comments

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Senator Stephen Conroy is asking for public comment on the requirements for regional commercial radio broadcasters to provide local content and maintain a local presence.The Government has today released a discussion paper, Local content requirements for regional commercial radio, seeking submissions from the public on the operation of the localism requirements.

Senator Conroy said, “Regional radio localism and trigger event related requirements came into effect in April 2007. After three years of their operation, the Government is, in accordance with the provisions of the Broadcasting Services Act, undertaking a review of their application and effectiveness.”

“The Government is committed to ensuring that Australians living in regional areas have access to content that reflects the culture and diversity of their local communities. A key aspect of ensuring the availability of local content is the strength and viability of regional commercial radio licensees. The Government will ensure any potential changes do not lead to an overall reduction in current levels of local content on regional commercial radio,” added Conroy.

“Regional commercial radio stations are required to provide a minimum amount of content that is directly relevant to the area they serve. Stations that are affected by a ‘trigger event’, usually involving a change in control, are subject to additional requirements,” Senator Conroy said.

Submissions can be made to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy by Thursday, 1 April 2010.

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