Albanese Government keeps community television on air

The Albanese Government is keeping community television stations in Melbourne and Adelaide on air, thanks to the passage of legislation through Parliament overnight.

The Broadcasting Services Amendment (Community Television) Bill 2024 repeals the 30 June 2024 expiry date for the licences of much-loved community television stations Channel 31 Melbourne and Channel 44 Adelaide, so they can continue to provide their services into the future.

The channels will now be able to stay on air until an alternative use for the valuable radiofrequency spectrum they use has been realised, providing greater certainty for community television staff, volunteers, sponsors and audiences.
 
It means these channels can continue to broadcast the diverse, locally-based entertainment, education and information that locals value into the foreseeable future.
 
The new laws provide the Australian Communications and Media Authority with a two-stage process to declare when an alternative use of spectrum has been identified, and to then determine a date by which the channels will need to transition away from terrestrial broadcasting.
 
The new legislation also harmonises the Codes of Practice regime to bring Channel 31 and Channel 44 under the same code as developed by the Australian Community Television Alliance.
 
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

 "Channel 31 and Channel 44 now have greater certainty because the Albanese Government changed the law so the passionate staff and volunteers who bring these stations to life can continue to serve their communities.

“Community television stations provide local news and content, support local businesses and act as a platform for the next generation of industry talent – which is why Labor fought repeated attempts by the Liberals and Nationals to boot Community TV off-air prematurely.
 
“We have delivered on our election commitment to keep Channel 31 Melbourne and Channel 44 Adelaide on air until there is an alternative use for the spectrum they use, which helps support a strong and diverse broadcasting sector – now and into the future".