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New current affairs programs planned for public radio stations



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25 October 1991

NEW CURRENT AFFAIRS PROGRAMS PLANNED FOR PUBLIC RADIO STATIONS

- New ethnic current affairs radio programs, independently produced, are one of three government initiatives designed to boost Aboriginal and ethnic broadcasting in Australia, Mr Warren Snowdon said today.

Mr Snowdon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Communications, said the current affairs programs would be provided to public radio stations on a weekly basis.

The stations themselves would be free to decide whether they used the material.

Expressions of interest from persons or production units interested in making the programs are being sought on - Saturday, 26 October 1991 through advertisements in leading newspapers.

Mr Snowdon said the other associated initiatives were:

# government funding of $300 000 to enable public radio stations to buy satellite receiving equipment enabling them to rebroadcast the 2EA (SBS) feed off AUSSAT;

# a total of $1.9 million for the training of Aboriginal and ethnic broadcasters.

Mr Snowdon said the aim of the current affairs project was to provide nationally networked weekly programs of high quality.

The programs should assist newly arrived migrants with limited access to information about issues of concern to them.

"Health care, education, employment and social welfare are likely to be among the issues addressed, as well as the normal range of current affairs matters of interest to the media and viewers and listeners."

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Mr Snowdon said the Government would not be involved in production of the programs.

"An advisory group from the Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting Council, the Public Broadcasting Foundation (PBF) and the Public Broadcasting Association of Australia

(PBAA) will be consulted before a final decision is made on the best process for selecting the program producers.

"Funding will be $600 000 this year and again in 1992-93."

Programs would be produced in a number of community languages with the final choice of languages being made after the expressions of interest were received.

Expressions of interest for the production of programs targeted at one or more language groups would be welcomed.

Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Arabic, Mandarin, Portuguese, Turkish, Polish and Russian were among the lanuages to be considered.

"This list is indicative only and alternative or additional language groups will be considered if, through community consultation, a need for- the service can be demonstrated."

Expressions of interest will be accepted by the Department of Transport and Communications until 22 November 1991. -Further information is available from:

Mr John Edquist Director Public Broadcasting Section Broadcasting Policy Division Department of Transport and Communications PO Box 594 CANBERRA ACT 2601

Tel: 06 274 6647 Fax: 06 274 6546

Media contacts:

Mr Snowdon's Office: Mandy Taylor, ph. 089 89 1177 - - Department: Graeme Barrow, ph. 06 274 7856