Bill passes securing the future of Community TV

April 10, 2024
A white building with lights on glowing through several long windows with an Australian flag flying above the building known as the Australian Parliament House in Canberra

The CBF joins Australian Community Television Alliance (ACTA)  in welcoming the passing of legislation that secures the future of community television in Australia, ensuring that community TV services in Naarm/Melbourne and Tarndanya/Adelaide stay on-air for the foreseeable future.

Introduced by the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, Minister for Communications, the passing of the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Community Television) Bill 2024 signifies a landmark pivotal moment for community television.  The long-awaited bill extends the licenses of Channel 31 Melbourne and Channel 44 Adelaide which were due to expire on 30 June this year.   Now, both stations will be able to continue broadcasting until there is an alternative use for the radio frequency spectrum they use.

Minister Rowland further said in a statement:

“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.”

President of Australian Community Television Alliance (ACTA) and Channel 31 General Manager, Shane Dunlop said:

“The sector has weathered significant challenges since 2014 and this result not only acknowledges the unwavering resilience demonstrated by C44 Adelaide and C31 Melbourne in representing their communities but also underscores the indispensable role of community TV in the Australian media landscape.  As we embrace this milestone, we look forward to embarking on the next steps toward revitalising and fortifying community TV as a vital platform and conduit for diverse voices and burgeoning media talent.”

Channel 44 General Manager, Lauren Hillman said:

“The passing of the CTV Bill is a historical and pivotal moment. Continued free-to-air broadcasting is a significant step towards the stability and certainty so desperately needed by the community TV sector after a decade-long fight for survival… This bill shows that the Australian Government recognises the vital role played by community TV in not only serving local communities but in the broader media landscape, too, as a platform for cultural diversity and inclusivity, and as a training ground for emerging creators.”

Community television is available on-demand online on the CTV+ website and app available on Android and iPhone, with plans to stream on Smart TVs soon.