14 September 2004
New community radio licence for Swan Hill, Victoria
The Australian Broadcasting Authority has allocated one new community radio licence in Swan Hill, Victoria to Swan Hill & District Community FM Radio Inc (Smart FM).
The Swan Hill service will broadcast on 99.1 MHz on the FM band. Smart FM is currently broadcasting on 99.1 MHz under a temporary community broadcasting licence that expires on 18 September 2004. The permanent community radio broadcasting licence will commence on 19 September 2004.
‘The proposed community radio service will add to the range and diversity of services in the Swan Hill area,’ said Lyn Maddock, Acting ABA Chair. ‘The applicant satisfied the ABA that it would meet the existing and perceived future needs of the community in the licence 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.
Smart FM was the only applicant for the Swan Hill licence. Its application was assessed with particular regard to whether the proposed service would meet the existing and perceived future needs of the general community in the Swan Hill area.
Smart FM currently operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The proposed service will provide programs that will cover a wide range of local issues that will appeal to the general community in Swan Hill.
To contact the new licensee, call Rex James, on (03) 5032 5991.
Media contact Donald Robertson, ABA Manager Media and PR on (02) 9334 7980.
Swan Hill, Victoria
The Swan Hill area is currently served by three national radio services: 3MIL, 3ABCFM, 3JJJ; two commercial radio services: 3SH and 3SHI and one open narrowcasting service: 3UZ. It is also served by national television services ABC and SBS, and three commercial television services: BCV 10, AMV 47, VTV 50.
The ABA finalised the Swan Hill licence area plan in 1997. It determined that one new community radio broadcasting licence be made available for Swan Hill. However, it was not until 2003 that the ABA received an expression of interest for the operation of a temporary community broadcasting licence in the Swan Hill 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 Minister may also give directions to the ABA to give priority to a particular community interest or interests