19 November 2004
ABA imposes licence conditions on Perth youth community broadcaster Groove 101.7FM
The Australian Broadcasting Authority has imposed strict licence conditions on Perth youth community radio service Groove 101.7FM (Groove FM). The service is provided by Youth Media Society of Western Australia Inc (YMS).
The key licence conditions are intended to ensure that Groove FM provides a range of programming that caters for the interests of the broader Perth youth community, and that it encourages members of the youth community to participate in the service. The licence conditions commence on 1 January 2005.
‘YMS was allocated a licence to provide a service for all the youth of Perth, not just for those interested in urban and dance music’, said Lyn Maddock, Acting ABA Chair. ‘The conditions will ensure that YMS provides a diverse range of music and talk programming, that it continues to play a high level of local and Australian music, and that it actively invites Perth youth to participate in the service - not just as volunteers, but as members of YMS who can be involved in decision making about the future and direction of both Groove FM and the licensee association.’
Other conditions imposed by the ABA will address significant deficiencies in the corporate governance of YMS. In particular, the conditions require YMS to improve its financial and administrative procedures so that YMS is run in accordance with basic standards of accountability, transparency and openness.
The ABA’s decision to impose licence conditions follows an investigation by the ABA of YMS. The ABA's findings are contained in its investigation report which was published in August 2004.
Copies of the licence conditions and the ABA's report are available on the ABA website.
Media contact Donald Robertson, ABA Manager Media and PR on (02) 9334 7980.
Youth Media Society of Western Australia Inc (YMS) was registered under the Associations Incorporation Act 1987 ( Western Australia) on 29 June 2001. It commenced test broadcasts using the name Groove FM under a temporary community broadcasting licence on 2 July 2002.
YMS was allocated a permanent licence on 24 October 2002 and commenced full time operation on 1 March 2003.
On 30 June 2003, DMG Radio Australia (DMG) made a complaint to the ABA about Groove FM. After considering DMG’s submission and monitoring sample broadcast periods on Groove FM, the ABA commenced an investigation on 31 July 2003.
Summary of key licence conditions
The licence conditions imposed on YMS are intended to address problems in the areas of corporate governance, representation of community interests and community participation. Key licence conditions are:
Representation of community interests and community participation
YMS is to provide quarterly reports to the ABA that include:
Community broadcasting services
The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA) provides for a number of different categories of broadcasting services. These include community broadcasting services, commercial broadcasting services, subscription broadcasting services, and open and subscription narrowcasting services.
The key defining characteristics of community broadcasting services are that
In contrast to commercial broadcasters who must bid for their licences at auction, community broadcasters are given free access to broadcasting spectrum to provide services that meet the needs and interests of the communities they have been licensed to serve.
The BSA sets out a range of conditions applying to community broadcasting services that are intended to ensure that community broadcasters meet their obligations to their communities.
In particular, a community broadcaster is required to: