31 October, 2001
New community radio licence for Colac, Victoria
The Australian Broadcasting Authority has allocated a new community radio licence for Colac, Victoria, to Otway FM Community Radio Group Inc.
The service will broadcast on 104.7 MHz on the FM band, with translators at 99.1 MHz in Apollo Bay and 88.7 MHz in Lorne. Otway FM is currently broadcasting on the 104.7 MHz frequency under a temporary community broadcasting licence that expires on 30 November 2001. The permanent community radio broadcasting licence will commence on 1 December 2001.
There were two applicants for this licence: Otway FM Community Radio Group Inc. which claims to represent the general community of Colac, and Vision Australia Foundation which claims to represent the print-handicapped community of Colac. Both applications were assessed with particular regard to whether the proposed services would meet existing and perceived future community needs.
"The proposed service will add to the range and diversity of services in the Colac area," said Professor David Flint, ABA Chairman. "The ABA noted that Otway FM intends to provide some programming for the print-handicapped in addition to their current programming. The applicant therefore satisfied the ABA that it would meet the existing and perceived future needs of the general community in the Colac area."
The ABA made this licence available after a process of consultation with the people of the local community to seek their views on what additional broadcasting services were needed in their area.
Otway FM's current temporary service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The proposed service will provide programs, including talk and music, that will be of interest to the wider community in the Colac area.
To contact the new licensee, call Mr Anthony Graham, President on (0414) 285 680. The studio can be contacted on (03) 5232 1991, or by fax on (03) 5232 2379.
Media contact: Donald Robertson, Manager, ABA Media and PR, on (02) 9334 7980.
Colac is situated approximately 150 km south-west of Melbourne. The licence area for the allocated licence includes the surrounding towns of Beeac, Birregurra, Winchelsea, Camperdown and Port Campbell.
The Colac area is currently served by an ABC television service in addition to the commercial television services VTV58, BCV61 and AMV64.
Radio services in the Colac area include two commercial services. There is currently no permanent community radio service.
In the radio licence area plan for the Colac region, released on 22 June 2000, the ABA determined that one new community FM radio broadcasting licence be made available for the Colac area.
Community licence allocation
Part 6 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, provides for the allocation of community broadcasting licences.
The ABA uses a merit based allocation process where applicants compete on the basis of merit for the licence. The process includes opportunity for the public to comment on applications received.
The ABA must also have regard to:
- the extent to which the proposed service would meet the existing and perceived future needs of the community within the licence area of the proposed service; and
- the nature and diversity of the interests of that community; and
- the nature and diversity of other broadcasting services (including national broadcasting services) available within that licence area; and
- the capacity of the applicant to provide the proposed service; and
- the undesirability of one person being in a position to exercise control of more than one community broadcasting licence that is a broadcasting services bands licence in the same licence area; and
- the undesirability of the Commonwealth, a State or Territory or a political party being in a position to exercise control of a community broadcasting licence.
The Minister may also give directions to the ABA to give priority to a particular community interest or interests.
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