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$1.5 million for community broadcasting contemporary music initiative



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SENATOR THE HON RICHARD ALSTON Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

$1.5 million for community broadcasting contemporary music initiative

As part o f the Government’s $10 million contemporary music package, $1.5 million will be devoted to a national community satellite network and real-audio Internet site, providing 100% Australian music content, Federal Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston announced today.

‘This funding recognises the significant contribution community broadcasting makes to the music industry. Many new artists and bands receive their first break on community radio, and it’s also a very successful training ground for the technical and production side o f the industry,’ Senator Alston said.

The new satellite network will involve a high quality, stereo music service, which will operate via the community broadcasting satellite platform. Almost all community radio stations, including the 180 BRACS sites, have satellite-receiving equipment.

The network will distribute an interesting programming mix to over 150 community radio stations throughout Australia, providing separate ‘blocks’ o f all music genres.

‘The funding will also allow this satellite music service to be distributed online through a specially designed Internet website, which could be interactive with different music genres accessible on demand.

‘This is a first— according to the community broadcasting sector no other country is currently producing an Internet music site that plays only local product,’ Senator Alston said.

The Internet site would be a natural extension o f the Community Access Network, established as part o f the Government’s community broadcasting infrastructure package.

An e-commerce site could also be established to assist the domestic and international marketing Australian music.

‘The $10 million package is part of the Government’s recent reforms including the removal of parallel import rules, which delivers more choice to music retailers and has resulted in lower CD prices.

‘The package is designed to provide support to the industry, and establish initiatives that promote the long-term sustainability of the industry, ’ Senator Alston said.

Media contact: Terry O ’Connor, Minister’s office 02 6277 7480 web site: www. richardalston. dca. gov. au

R e l e a s e

184/98 28 August 1998