26 July 2001
New radio services proposed for south east South Australia
The Australian Broadcasting Authority is proposing to make available an additional community radio service in Mount Gambier and two new community radio services in Victor Harbor.
In addition, the ABA is proposing to extend the licence area of commercial service 5EZY Murray Bridge to include Mount Barker and Victor Harbor and extend the licence area of Bordertown community radio service, 5TCB, to Kingston/Robe, Naracoorte, Padthaway and Tintinara. The ABA is also proposing to change the frequency and increase the power of community radio service 5GTR Mount Gambier.
The ABA also proposes to make an additional FM channel available for the ABC in Mount Gambier.
The proposals are contained in the draft radio licence area plans for the South East South Australia region released today.
"The preliminary views represent the ABA's thinking at this stage of the planning process," said Professor David Flint, ABA Chairman. "The ABA is now seeking information from interested parties that will assist it in making informed decisions. Before reaching a final decision the ABA will have regard to all the submissions obtained through public consultation on the draft licence area plans."
The ABA has not proposed to plan new commercial or narrowcasting services at this stage, due to limited expressed demand with appropriate supporting information from potential service providers.
The draft licence area plans for Mount Gambier and Murray Bridge can be viewed at the ABA's web site. Copies of the licence area plans are available from the ABA by calling Freecall 1800 810 241, and will be available for viewing at local libraries. Submissions on the plans are due by 24 August 2001.
Media contact: Donald Robertson, ABA Manager Media and PR on (02) 9334 7980.
The draft licence area plans for radio in the South East South Australia region contain details of all national, commercial, community or open narrowcasting radio broadcasting services that are proposed to be made available using the 'broadcasting services bands' of the radio frequency spectrum. These are the parts of the spectrum used by AM and FM radio services.
'National broadcasting services' refers to free-to-air ABC or SBS services, or to Parliamentary broadcasts. 'Commercial broadcasting services' are free-to-air services operated for profit and with programs intended to appeal to the general public. 'Community broadcasting services' are free-to-air services provided for community purposes by non-profit groups. 'Open narrowcasting services' are free-to-air services which are limited in some way, such as by targeting programs to a specific audience or by signal coverage area.
The Australian Government primarily funds extensions or improvements to national services. The respective operators fund extensions or improvements to commercial and community services within their licence areas.
It is important to note that the ABA cannot fund or compel others to fund additional broadcasting services, or improved reception of existing broadcasting services, in an area. It can only make channel capacity available.
With the exception of the capacity reserved for national broadcasters and channel capacity made available for allocation for community broadcasters, other capacity set out in the licence area plans will generally be made available for commercial licences and open narrowcasting services, under a price-based allocation scheme.
Capacity set out for community licences will be made available by means of a merit based system. The ABA will generally begin the allocation process soon after a final licence area plan for each area has been determined.
Channels not immediately required for broadcasting services may be allocated for other purposes (such as open narrowcasting) for a fixed period determined by the ABA.
The draft licence area plans for the South East South Australia region (including Mount Gambier and Murray Bridge) are part of the ABA's planning for Group 5 markets, expected to be concluded by the end of the year. The draft plans for the other Group 5 markets include Western Victoria and Spencer Gulf (also just released), Gippsland and Murrumbidgee/Riverina (currently out for public consultation) and Tasmania (scheduled for release in the next few weeks).
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