“Ethnic community broadcasters welcome the Government’s budget announcement of an increase in funding by $3m annually for the next four years,” said the President of the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council (NEMBC), Mr Victor Marillanca. Additional funding has been given to enable community broadcasters to increase radio content production in Ethnic, Indigenous and Radio for the Print Handicapped broadcasting, and to establish a new Community Radio Content Development Fund.
“The NEMBC together with community broadcasters has been campaigning for an increase in funding for over 14 years, to assist over 3000 volunteers to better serve their communities and to support the maintenance of language, culture and identity. This funding will go a long way in supporting the aspirations of these communities and in building our multicultural nation,” continued Mr Marillanca.
These volunteers produce and broadcast programs in 100 different languages through 130 community radio stations right across urban and regional Australia. They are tireless workers and with their communities raise the bulk of funds needed to keep community radio stations running. These additional government funds will not only provide practical support but will also boost volunteers’ morale and give recognition for all the work achieved,” said Mr Marillanca.
The NEMBC President “applauds the Labor government for breaking a 14 year drought in this all-important area of content funding. The NEMBC also appreciates the support for increased funding by the Opposition and the Greens. This consolidates and strengthens the long-standing bipartisan funding commitment for ethnic and general community broadcasting.”
Increased funding will enable ethnic community broadcasters to expand and improve their invaluable services, not only to hundreds of established community language programs, but also to new and emerging communities, migrants and refugees. Migration is an integral part of the history and fabric of Australia and continued support is vital as we respond to a changing population, the growing need for more migrant labour and the increasing complexities of global migration.
With these additional funds, digital broadcasting can now realise the opportunities for expanding the services of language programs. “Ethnic community radio has proved, over its 40 years of existence, to be a unique community builder and multicultural protagonist. This increased funding is warmly greeted by all those involved in ethnic broadcasting and multicultural affairs as a significant recognition by the Australian Government for this role,” Mr. Marillanca concluded.