The majority agreed that the Government should begin a public consultation on the future of Australia's community broadcasting sector and also reconsider its decision to cancel spectrum allocation to the sector, which means community TV will be taken off the air.
Background to the motion
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam introduced this motion after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that spectrum allocation to community TV would end after 31 December 2015 (read more about the current and future broadcasting arrangements for community TV).
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) Australia's community broadcasters are a vital part of Australia's increasingly concentrated media landscape, providing space for diverse voices not found in commercial media,
(ii) some 25 000 Australians volunteer at their community radio or television station each year, gaining critical commercial skills and experience that they would not be able to access elsewhere, and
(iii) the future of the sector has been called into question by the Minister for Communications' recent announcement that spectrum licensing to community stations will be cancelled at the end of 2015; and
(b) calls on the Australian Government to:
(i) immediately commence a public consultation process regarding the future of Australia's community broadcasting sector, and
(ii) reconsider the decision to cancel spectrum allocation to the community broadcasting sector.