Yesterday afternoon, the CBF Board held a special meeting to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and consider how we might best use our resources to support community broadcasters during this crisis. The CEO and President of the CBAA also attended the meeting as the sector’s peak representative body,
Below is a message from our President Ian Hamm, to let you know what was decided at the meeting.
We know that the measures being taken to manage the COVID-19 pandemic are having serious and ongoing impacts on stations, and on the sector as a whole. I want to reassure you that we are taking this very seriously and doing everything we can to find the best way to provide you with the support you need.
What are we doing now to help?
- We have established a COVID-19 crisis Taskforce. This is a joint CBF/CBAA initiative that brings together the people with the knowledge and expertise to be able to quickly identify the best way to use CBF funding to address your pressing needs. The task force will provide advice and recommendations to the CBF Board.
- We will provide an automatic six-month extension on reporting requirements for all current Development & Operations and Content grants. This will allow you to focus your time and resources on dealing with the many pressures that are impacting your stations as a result of the COIVD-19 crisis.
- We have temporarily paused all assessments in the current grant round. The situation has changed dramatically since the grant round closed only a couple of weeks ago. We know that stations may need different support now as they grapple with the impacts of COVID-19. We need to pause assessments on the current round while the Taskforce is considering the best way forward.
- We are liaising with the DITRDC to seek greater flexibility in the use of 2020-21, and current and prior year funding. We need to ensure that we have the Department’s agreement so we can progress Taskforce recommendations as quickly as possible.
What will happen next?
The Taskforce will meet next Tuesday to assess how best to use CBF funding to address the pressing needs of the sector during this crisis.
Please get in touch with the CBF Support Team if you have any questions or concerns. We understand how challenging this is for all of you and we are focussing all our efforts on getting you the support you need as soon as possible.
I will be in touch again in the near future with more information.
These are testing times, so please take care of yourselves.