Explainer: 2022 Federal Budget

March 28, 2022

Neon dollar signs

On Tuesday 29 March 2022, the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will hand down the 2022/23 Federal Budget.

Each year the Budget outlines the Government’s plans for the year ahead and includes forward estimates outlining plans for spending in future years.

In the lead up to the 2022/23 Budget, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and First Nations Media Australia (FNMA) have made submissions to Government for additional funding.

How is community media funded?

The community broadcasting sector is predominantly funded through the ‘Community Broadcasting Program’. This includes dedicated funding for ethnic, RPH and Indigenous broadcasting. First Nations media also receives a large proportion of its funding from the National Indigenous Australians Agency through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

What we’re looking for in the 2022/23 Budget

We would like to see community broadcasting funding maintained, including continued funding of several sector-wide projects and additional critical support for community broadcasting stations and the communities that rely on them. This is outlined in the CBAA’s Budget submission which seeks an increase of $5 million in the sector’s annual funding on an ongoing, renewed and indexed basis.

This additional funding would be distributed through the CBF’s Development & Operations grants which are currently oversubscribed, causing significant unmet demand. Last year there was a shortfall of $8 million in the amount requested by stations and the amount allocated in grants (including requests for COVID support).

Additional funding will support stations’ core operations, cover the cost of upgrades to ageing technology infrastructure, increase local news reporting capacity and generally enhance their impact in their local communities. It would also assist stations to recover from natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting their communities when they need it most.

Continued funding will also ensure there is no disruption to the roll out of key sector projects including community radio’s DAB+ digital radio broadcast services, station online services, enhanced news programming, and enhanced training for leadership and station management skills.

What First Nations Media are looking for in the 2022/23 Budget

FNMA’s Budget submission is seeking $31.5 million to increase the sector’s capacity to serve and grow its audiences, deliver social return on investment outcomes, grow community employment outcomes and increase financial sustainability.

Funds requested will support the First Nations media sector to provide essential and culturally relevant information and emergency support services, strengthen news services, increase media jobs and skills, improve business development capacity and address funding indexation pressures.

Community broadcasting is more important now, than ever

The last couple of years – starting with the 2019/20 bushfire season, then the pandemic, and the recent devasting flooding in many communities – has reminded us all how important our local community radio stations are to us, particularly in times of crisis. Over 5 million Australians tune in to their local community broadcaster each week for news, information, entertainment and company – authentic, familiar voices we trust.

Community media has had over four decades of support from successive Commonwealth governments which has contributed to the growth, strength and resilience of the sector. This support is reinforced at local and national levels through the relationships stations develop with their local members of parliament, and through the sector’s peak representative organisations developing strong relationships with a range of parliamentarians and relevant government departments.

These relationships ensure Government understands the important role our sector plays in supporting a strong democratic society where everyone feels a sense of connection and belonging. Current funding levels are not meeting the need for support in the sector, but with the additional funding requested in this Budget we could help many more community broadcasters across Australia.

About our grants    

We run two Content and Development & Operations grant rounds each year, usually in January and July.   

Quick Response Grants are also available outside our grant rounds for community media organisations that are experiencing emergencies.    

Grant round dates  

Check our Key dates page for the next grant round.  

Stay in touch   

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