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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Community TV Licences Extended Under Regulator Review

Audiences in Melbourne and Adelaide will have continued access to local community television stations under a new Bill introduced to Parliament by the Australian Federal Government.

The Broadcasting Services Amendment (Community Television) Bill 2024 delivers on the Albanese Government’s election commitment to extend the licences of much-loved community television stations Channel 31 Melbourne and Channel 44 Adelaide.

Under current law, both channels’ apparatus licences are due to expire on 30 June this year. Labor’s Bill will keep both channels on air until an alternative use for the radiofrequency spectrum they use has been realised.

This will provide greater certainty for community television operators and their audiences by repealing the June 2024 expiry date and giving the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) the power to declare when an alternative use for the spectrum has been identified, and to determine a specified date.

The Bill will also harmonise the Codes of Practice regime to bring Channel 31 and Channel 44 in line with the same code as developed by the Australian Community Television Alliance.

Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, said: “Community television is a vibrant part of Australia’s media landscape – adding to media diversity, providing local news and content, supporting local businesses and serving as a platform for the next generation of industry talent.

“These changes will ensure Channel 31 Melbourne and Channel 44 Adelaide can continue to provide these valuable services until there is an alternative use for the radiofrequency spectrum they occupy.

“By introducing this Bill, the Albanese Government is delivering on its election commitment to support a strong, diverse community broadcasting sector and the audiences they serve.”


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